October 28, 2007

Depth grows thinner for Heels

A dismal performance by the special teams left Coach Butch Davis and his staff scrambling for answers after the 37-10 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday.

UNC had 184 yards on eight kickoff returns. Wake Forest had 181 yards, one touchdown and set up another, on two kickoff returns. The other UNC kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback.

To compound matters, Carolina turned the ball over on two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and had a punt bounce off the foot of a player. That was recovered by Wake Forest for a third turnover.

"We were extraordinarily accommodating to them," Davis said, "turning the ball over three times. The two interceptions … the punt that hit Richie Rich in the foot led to 13 points. On kickoff returns, we did a very, very poor job, and that led to another 14 points. So those five plays cost us [27] points. That is way too many points, way too many negative plays, and they turned out to be big plays."

Coaches naturally seek solutions when there are such problems. The issue for this team is there are limited answers at this point for special teams.

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