Carolina's defense now has eight of its expected starters back in the lineup following the NCAA and institutional suspensions. Coordinator Everett Withers says that is good enough for the Tar Heels to be a quality unit.
"You take away two ends and one corner, and look what you have on the field," Withers says. "I know it takes time to get back to playing together, I understand that. But I told our guys last week, 'Now is time for you guys to start playing.' If you guys play, we win. You guys can cover up for the young guys. We beat Florida State not playing very well--think of what we can do if we play like we know how to play."
The Tar Heels surrendered 418 yards offense and 6.3 yards a snap against Virginia Tech. One of the bright spots was the emergence of freshman cornerback Jabari Price, who started his first game at the boundary corner slot and made two pass breakups.
"I think the older guys are trying to overcompensate," Deunta Williams says. "The younger guys are trying to find their way, and the older guys are not stepping up and playing as well as we can. We're playing more tense, there isn't the trust factor this year we've had in the past."