The Tar Heels have a quick turnaround this week, going from their historic loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday to a road trip to Virginia on Thursday night. Carolina lost 68-50 to Georgia Tech in Kenan Stadium in the highest scoring game in school and ACC history. Now they have to regroup against a resurgent Virginia squad that has beaten N.C. State and Miami in consecutive weeks.
"You don't have time to think about it, you don't have time to cry about it," Fedora said Monday after practice. "You've got to step up and go. It's time to go again."
"We're very fortunate we have a short week," quarterback Bryn Renner added. "We can flush that game away and get ready for Virginia. It was good to get out here and move around. We love to practice and work to get better. We're a mature ball club, and I think we'll move on from the Georgia Tech game."
The Tar Heels reviewed game tape of the horrendous loss to Tech on Sunday, began studying Virginia and had a light workout marked mostly by running and stretching. They will practice again Tuesday and then travel by bus Wednesday afternoon to Charlottesville.
Asked about the staff's identification of specific problems in Carolina's defensive performance against Tech, which piled up 588 yards offense and punted only once, Fedora said: "Assignment discipline. You don't want to dwell on it. Nothing is going to carry over to this week. We don't have time to mess with it. But it was assignments and beating blocks. You have to beat blocks when you're in 1-on-1 situations. That's all it was."
Elaborating further on the defensive performance across the entire season, he added: "They've been doing a solid job. I don't think it's been great, it's not been bad, it's been solid. The thing you are looking for is consistency. That's what you want: knowing your job, doing your job and doing it harder than the guy across from you."
This will be Carolina's fourth Thursday night ESPN game in the state of Virginia in the last six years. The Tar Heels were pounded by Virginia 23-0 in 2006 in John Bunting's last game as Carolina's head coach. They upset Virginia Tech 20-17 in Blacksburg in 2009 and then lost 24-21 at Virginia Tech last year.
"We talk about earning respect all the time," Fedora said. "This is part of it. You get a chance to go on national TV on the road, you play a team that has a lot of confidence right now. It'll be a good challenge for us."
For all the bad vibes the Tar Heels have left over from the Georgia Tech loss, perhaps they'll have a few good ones from their last trip to Charlottesville. The Tar Heels jumped on the Cavaliers from the opening whistle and rolled to a 44-10 triumph in 2010, ending their 30-year losing streak in Charlottesville.