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Football: Davis, UNC stay levelheaded despite loss

Quarterback T.J. Yates talks with Butch Davis during UNC’s 24-7 loss at Georgia Tech. DTH/Andrew Dye
Quarterback T.J. Yates talks with Butch Davis during UNC’s 24-7 loss at Georgia Tech. DTH/Andrew Dye

Shortly following North Carolina’s 24-7 loss to Georgia Tech, a terse coach Butch Davis didn’t sugarcoat much about his team’s poor showing.

“Disastrous” and “terrible” were just two of the adjectives Davis used to condemn the Tar Heels’ third-down efficiency, inconsistency on offense and general lack of execution against the Yellow Jackets.

And while he didn’t back off those statements at his weekly press conference Monday, he stressed the importance of keeping that dismal performance in perspective.

“I think our players have been here long enough now that they’ve seen us after huge great wins and seen us when we’ve lost games,” Davis said. “We’re pretty much the same coaching staff. We’re always looking at how can we get better. We try to keep things somewhat on an even keel.”

Davis said he is not planning on overhauling the depth chart, and that he doesn’t plan on using practice this week to promote several position battles.

Instead, North Carolina’s coaches will spend their time this week determining how to better distribute the ball to playmakers on offense and maximize the potential of the talent available.

“I think we’re playing the best players we’ve got,” Davis said. “We’ve got to look at what are our capabilities — what they can realistically do, and how can they get better at what we’re trying to do.”

 But while Davis and the other UNC coaches distanced themselves emotionally from Saturday’s defeat, several players are still stinging from a game in which they said the team lacked the necessary intensity and focus for an ACC game.

Quarterback T.J. Yates, who said he was “embarrassed” in the aftermath of the defeat, reiterated those sentiments Monday.

He, wide receiver Greg Little and offensive lineman Kyle Jolly expressed frustration during a team meeting about the up-and-down nature of the offense this season.

Yates said those veterans demanded consistent execution and effort every game, something that has been missing this year.

“A lot of guys on the team kind of have a bad taste in their mouth,” Yates said. “We didn’t expect to see ourselves losing so early. A lot of guys on the team were pretty angry and pretty pissed off, and I think that’s going to help us this week in practice.”

Another player aggravated at what transpired in Atlanta was running back Shaun Draughn.

UNC’s ground game was stifled for just 17 yards on 18 carries, which put the Tar Heels in position for second- and third-and-longs for most of the game. Draughn said when he finally got home from Atlanta, he couldn’t settle into his standard postgame routine.

Draughn usually relaxes by watching the night’s college football action, but he said he was too angry to watch a second of football Saturday night. He said all he wanted to do was watch film on what went wrong.

“If the coaches call a play we’ve just got to execute it,” Draughn said. “We’re just not running it effectively. We do things in practice and everything feels good. I think it was just an off game.”


Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.

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