UNC Football: Performance Once Again Ends In Disappointment

Oct 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown on the field before a game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown on the field before a game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The UNC Football program dropped its second straight game of the season on Saturday night, once again leading to disappointment for the program and fanbase.

It feels like a never-ending cycle of being a UNC Football fan. There’s the pre-season hype, then a struggle win, then a big win, then the fanbase begins to believe and buy-in, and then the disappointment happens… a loss to a lesser opponent, and then another, and it all comes crashing down.

We were told this year was different, though. This team was supposed to be different. No one that’s a UNC Football fan in their right mind actually believed that two months ago. But then, they started 6-0. They had that big home win against a good Miami team. A favorable schedule to end the month of October, and it looked like a 9-0 start was becoming more realistic. And you thought maybe, just maybe, this team was different. 

Let’s stop right there for a minute and flashback less than a calendar year ago. The Tar Heels rolled into the second to last week of the season with a 9-1 record and the Coastal Division Championship. They had the opportunity against two lesser opponents to finish the season strong, 11-1, and head to Charlotte with momentum. Instead, it was a demoralizing loss as a 21-point favorite against Georgia Tech with a fourth-string QB and a loss to rival NC State with a third-string QB. The season spiraled out of control at that point, and they finished 9-5.

All off-season, we heard from players and coaches alike that this year was different. There was an extra emphasis on not having a letdown game like the Georgia Tech game from 2022 and not letting a game beat them twice.

Fast-forward back to the present. The UNC Football team DID have a letdown game similar to Georgia Tech from 2022 when they allowed a 1-5 Virginia team to walk into Kenan Stadium as a 23-5 point underdog and walk out with a 31-27 victory after refusing to step up and make the plays they needed to.

However, fans still had some hope after a 6-0 start and hearing about how this team was different and how they had learned from their mistakes from a year ago. There was no way they would let a game beat them twice and have the season come crashing down for good, right?

LOL! Joke’s on us for thinking that, huh?

Once again, they disappoint us. A week ago, I said the season wasn’t over. One loss didn’t end the season. All of the goals that we wanted to achieve were still in place. Not anymore, though.

Now, after a second consecutive disappointing performance in a loss to Georgia Tech (again), the Tar Heels drop to 6-2 on the season, 3-2 in the ACC, and are going from No. 10 in the country to unranked in a matter of two weeks. The season is basically over at this point. The goal, an ACC Championship, is improbable without a lot of help.

And, of course, we’ve only discussed this season, but UNC Football has been disappointing us for our entire lives, but the most recent five-year stretch may be the most disappointing ever as a Tar Heel football fan.

We have witnessed arguably the two greatest quarterbacks in program history come through Chapel Hill. One, Sam Howell, is a starter in the NFL. The other, Drake Maye, will likely be a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Even with Howell and Maye leading the offense, the UNC football program has nothing to show for it other than one Coastal Division Championship and a 55-13 Military Bowl win over Temple.

At some point, as fans, we have to realize this is who we are. There is no more believing or hope to be had for a special season in Chapel Hill. If there was ever a year for that, it was this year. And if these coaches and this program can’t accomplish that with this group of players, no one will ever be able to.

What is more irritating and frustrating is that they aren’t losing to good or great programs that are killing their season. They are losing to inferior opponents and ones they should be winning with ease.

This graphic was posted after the Virginia game on social media. After the loss against the Yellow Jackets as an 11.5-point favorite, it is now seven times that the Tar Heels have lost a game in the last three seasons as a double-digit favorite.

Where do we go from here? As fans, I’m not sure there is a clear or concise answer right now. There are so many emotions, but the most prominent one is disappointment. I think I speak for all of us when I say we just wanted one special season and thought this could be the year with a generational talent at QB.

As in typical UNC Football fashion, though, the season is basically over before November 1st. Maybe one day they won’t disappoint us. Maybe. But no Tar Heel fan will believe it until it happens because, at this point, there is nothing they can do to earn our trust except win the games on the field.

Next. The UNC football program’s horror story continues…. dark

Follow us @KeepingItHeel on X (formerly Twitter) and like our fan page on Facebook for continued coverage of UNC football news, updates, and recruiting.