Extra points from UNC's 28-20 loss to GT: Close calls, fatigue, going for 2

Sep. 21, 2013 @ 06:21 PM

UNC dropped its eighth straight game at Georgia Tech Saturday, with six coming by one score.

There were certainly some memorable plays that could have gone either way -- specifically David Sims' 1-yard TD run when he fumbled the ball at the goal line, a potential fumble by Tech QB Vad Lee deep in UNC territory that was overturned on replay, and a holding call on right tackle Jon Heck that negated an 82-yard touchdown pass from Bryn Renner to Ryan Switzer.

"I think we’re a mature enough group that we know adversity’s going to hit, but it’s starting to get frustrating," Renner said. "But we can’t dwell on that and I don’t think it affected us at all."

There was also the turnaround in the second half. UNC went from scoring TDs on three of its first four drives to gaining just 62 yards in the second half. The run game was totally ineffective, and GT really increased the pressure on Renner.

UNC coach Larry Fedora, who isn't used to seeing his offense totally shut down, said that "some of it was shooting ourselves in the foot."

Defensively, UNC had a lot of success early but GT ran through tackles late in the game. Could the players have been fatigued when GT had a 40:38-19:22 advantage in time of possession? Fedora said he didn't know if the defense was worn down or not, and the players had different responses.

Bandit Norkeithis Otis said the defense is in shape from practicing against a fast-tempo offense, so it didn't get tired. But cornerback Tim Scott said that the team did have less energy in the second half than in the first half.

Finally, Fedora addressed his willingness to try for a two-point conversion after the first touchdown. It didn't work against Middle Tennessee last week, and it didn't work here after holder Tommy Hibbard missed kicker Thomas Moore with a pass.

But the play's success last year was key in an 18-14 win over Miami (otherwise the Hurricanes could have gone for a tying field goal late), and it doesn't sound like that will stop any time soon.

"We’re not going to coach scared," Fedora said. "We’re going to coach to win football games. We’re always going to be aggressive. Just gotta make the dang play, that’s all you have to do. It’s there. Take advantage of it."