Would the UNC defense rebound from an abysmal 2014 campaign? Could new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik turn it around? How would the running game improve?
And throughout the offseason, one player remained unquestioned — starting quarterback Marquise Williams, undisputed leader of the Tar Heels and their high-octane offense.
But Thursday night, after the fifth-year senior tossed three costly interceptions in the red zone during UNC’s 17-13 loss to South Carolina, the questions about Williams finally surfaced.
“I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t have an answer for it,” Coach Larry Fedora said.
“If I had an answer for it, I’d have gotten it changed. But I kept thinking that he was going to get it going. And early on, we did some really good things, and then it just wasn’t consistent enough.”
The Tar Heels quickly marched down the field to the Gamecocks’ 6-yard line on their first drive. But on third-and-goal, he made his first mistake, throwing an interception in the end zone to bring the scoring opportunity to an abrupt halt.
He quickly returned to form. Williams opened the Tar Heels’ second drive with back-to-back completions before later finding receiver Bug Howard in the end zone — giving UNC a 7-0 lead.
The touchdown proved to be the only one for UNC on Thursday night. UNC drove deep into South Carolina territory two more times in the first half, only to come away with field goals.