But he refused to blame these simplified packages after the 1-4 Tar Heels managed just seven points in Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech. Instead, he cited turnovers and converting third downs as issues in need of correction.
“Offensive football is execution,” he said. “I don’t care what you run or how you do it. There’s a lot of ways to do it.”
First-year running back Michael Carter echoed his coach, adding that the onus falls on the players on the field to make the plays.
“It’s not necessarily what we run," he said. "It’s how we run it. At the end of the day, a run’s gonna be a run and a pass is going to be a pass.”
Injuries to seniors Proehl and Bentley Spain, along with graduate transfer Cam Dillard have forced redshirt first-year quarterback Chazz Surratt to take more of a leadership role than might be expected in his first season as a starter. But Surratt understands his role, even if it was forced on him earlier than the coaches hoped.
“For the quarterback role you’re expected to be a leader,” he said. “So I’m just trying to get those guys going and get them confidence.”
Kapilovic knows how damaging it can be for a team to lose its natural leaders, but Spain and Dillard both look to be healthy heading into this Saturday’s game against No. 21 Notre Dame, and Kapilovic hopes they can take some pressure off of UNC’s young quarterback.
“With having guys that were leaders in and out of the lineup, that’s not a positive thing,” he said. “I think those guys, now that we’ve gotten a few of them back, they start to feel they can take more ownership of this team and move forward with it.”
Carter pointed to Dillard, who came to UNC after four years at Florida, as a critical voice on the Tar Heels’ offense.
“He’s got a different mentality,” Carter said. “He’s got a family to feed — his drive’s a little bit different. I think Cam’s been the most vocal leader on our offense and he’s one of the best leaders I’ve been around.”
And with Dillard and Spain returning, Kapilovic is ready to put UNC’s first five weeks – and the constant discussion of injuries – in the past.
“We can’t dwell on the injuries,” he said. “It’s too bad – Notre Dame isn’t gonna feel sorry for us.”