Despite three costly pass interceptions, four suspended defensive players missing the game and falling behind late in the first half and again midway through the third quarter, the Tar Heels got exactly what they needed Saturday night against Liberty: A win.
“We’re 1-0, and that was the goal,” Tar Heel Coach Larry Fedora said following the 56-29 victory. “Win the first one. I was proud of our guys facing some adversity, keeping their composure and playing through it. That will help us later this year.”
Next up is San Diego State with a 8 p.m. kickoff in Kenan Stadium. The game has been designated the “Tar Pit Stripe Out,” and fans are asked to wear blue or black shirts depending on which section they sit in. Details can be found here.
Fedora said Monday that junior Marquise Williams has been designated the starting quarterback, and freshman Mitch Trubisky will be worked into action as needed. He said both played well against Liberty, save those interceptions.
“When you really broke them both down, they both played very similar,” Fedora said. “You take away the three picks that we have, probably two of those picks should’ve been touchdowns; we underthrew them and gave an opportunity to make a pick. And the one on the screen down by our 12-yard-line, we don’t want those to happen obviously, but they did. But you take those three things out of it, they both did a really good of their decision-making throughout the game and the things we asked them to do. So I thought they managed the game pretty well.”
Eight true freshmen played and six redshirt freshmen played, adding somewhat to the sloppiness. Secondary players Brian Walker, Des Lawrence, Donnie Miles and M.J. Stewart will be in action Saturday after being suspended in the opener for violations of team rules.
“I think we had nine first-time starters and 14 freshmen that played in that game,” Fedora said. “I would say with the mistakes that we made, they are definitely correctable. I think it was a lot of inexperience mistakes.”