Carolina is coming off one of the most notable accomplishments in its 128-year history—beating national powers Florida State and Miami on the road in the same year. The Tar Heels rode a balanced performance from offense, defense and the kicking game to dispatch Miami 20-13 Saturday in Miami Gardens.
“We feel good to get a win on the road,” Larry Fedora said Monday. “We had multiple things we could have been better at and put he game away. But we couldn’t make it happen and the defense stood up in multiple situations and got the job done.
“The defense played really well. There were about six plays we gave up we shouldn’t have given up, some bone-head mistakes. If we had played those well it would have been close to as good a game as we’ve ever played.”
Sadly the Tar Heels look down the barrel of their final five games of the year without senior receiver and special-teams dynamo Mack Hollins, who suffered a season-ending injury near the end of the first half at Miami. Hollins had surgery for a broken clavicle Sunday and is out the rest of the season.
“We’re going to miss a guy who’s been our captain on special teams every year,” Fedora said. “We’ll miss what he bring to all four of those units and what he gives us on offense. But more than anything, we’ll miss his leadership. Hopefully there will be ways to keep him involved.”
Carolina has won eight straight true road games (not counting last year’s ACC Championship Game and bowl) and will attempt to stretch it one more at 3 p.m. Saturday at Scott Stadium at Virginia. The Tar Heels are 4-2 while Virginia under first-year coach Bronco Mendenhall is 2-4.
“We said at our very first team meeting back in August that playing well on the road was going to be very, very important to this team,” Fedora said. “Our kids never blinked. No matter how hostile the crowd got or how many big plays Miami made, they hung in there.”