North Carolina coach Larry Fedora had difficulty identifying positives from his team's loss against ECU. ROBERT WILLETT
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina coach Larry Fedora opened his weekly press conference earlier today with this:
“You all know the old saying, ‘It’s never as bad as you think it is and it’s never as good as you think it is?’ So you go in and look at the film. Well, it was as bad as I thought it was. So I proved that wrong.”
Fedora went on:
“Yeah, the film didn’t show us anything to make us feel any better about it, I can tell you that,” he said. “Like I said after the game, we played poorly in all three phases. We got out-coached in all three phases and we’ve got to do a much better job – each and every person that’s associated with the program, including myself.”
What more can you say? The Tar Heels’ 55-31 loss on Saturday against ECU looked bad enough the first time around, live and in person. And it didn’t look any better when Fedora watched it again.
That said, Fedora after the loss made clear that his expectations for this team wouldn't change.
And, on Monday, he made clear that his coaching philosophy and approach wouldn’t change, either.
“Our philosophy is very sound and is proven,” he said. “So that’s not going to change. That’s not going to waver – what we do, how we do it, all those things. You cannot play the game unless you play the game with a lot of energy, enthusiasm, passion that have all talked about before. And we didn’t do that Saturday. We didn’t do that.
“And again that’s my fault. That’s my fault.”
Fedora attributed a lot of his team’s poor performance on Saturday to its inability to execute. The scheme and the game plan weren’t necessarily the problem, Fedora said.
“It’s not like we’re doing something that nobody in the world is doing,” Fedora said. “We didn’t just invent them up this week to see if we’d try it. We’ve got to do a better job of making sure the kids understand what we’re trying to do for the game plan. We’ve got to make sure it’s simple enough to keep them where they don’t have to think as much. And then the players are responsible for executing the plays that are called.”
Execution was a significant problem on Saturday. In the first half, the Tar Heels were a mess offensively – especially during the first quarter. Defensively, UNC had 37 missed assignments, cornerback Jabari Price said on Monday, and on play UNC played with only nine defensive players.
Fedora said he couldn’t identify just one area in which the execution is lacking. It’s everywhere, and at times different players have been responsible for the mishaps.
“If it was one thing, it’d be easy to fix,” he said. “But as soon as you stick your finger in this hole, then all of a sudden it starts leaking over here. And then you stick your finger over there and then you’ve got something else that comes up. And it’s not a consistent thing.
“One thing that is consistent is that we shoot ourselves in the foot somewhere amongst the 11.”