In his second weekly press conference, North Carolina football head coach Larry Fedora touched on defensive breakdowns against California and — of course — the quarterbacks. Here are some notes from this afternoon.
There’s one less OR at the quarterback position. On the team’s second depth chart of the season, redshirt sophomore Nathan Elliott is no longer listed as a starting quarterback. He is in place as the No. 2 option right now, with Brandon Harris and Chazz Surratt listed the No. 1.
Although Surratt outperformed Harris in Saturday’s 35-30 loss, Fedora still remains noncommittal on choosing a surefire starter. He said he’ll watch them through another week of practice before deciding how to use them against No. 16 Louisville — be that in a rotation or not.
“You can’t do it all on one game,” he said of basing the decision off one game. “You can’t. There’s just too many things, too many variables. But we’ll see. We’ll continue to battle it out there, and we’re going to put the guy on the field that we think can help us win a football game."
UNC’s defense, which was supposed to be a stalwart for the team, didn’t exactly dominate on Saturday. Fedora noted that on both of California’s long touchdown passes, the defensive line had plenty of pressure on quarterback Ross Bowers. On both plays, Fedora said defenders basically froze instead of adjusting to the receiver’s route as Bowers scrambled.
“There were too many good things they did defensively throughout the game,” he said. “The promising thing was, with all the problems we created for ourselves, they’re all correctable.”
Sophomore running back Jordon Brown had a massive workload on Saturday. He rushed 13 times for 54 yards and caught a team-high nine passes for 53 yards. His 22 touches were by far the most among all of UNC’s backs and receivers. The majority of his catches came on checkdowns, which Fedora complimented the quarterbacks for.
Michael Jordan will serve as an honorary captain for UNC this upcoming Saturday. The 2017 basketball team will be presented with its national championship rings during halftime of the game. Members from all five previous championship teams will be there, too.
Dalton will play
Jalen Dalton, who was ejected from Saturday’s game for a targeting penalty, is eligible to play against Louisville since his penalty occurred in the first half. It’s the opposite of the Mack Hollins situation, in which the receiver got a targeting penalty in the second half of a bowl game against Baylor and had to sit out the 2016 season opener against Georgia.