The number always varies, depending on the game. Sometimes the team is up-down free. Other times, after games like UNC's 70-41 loss to East Carolina, it seems like it might never end.
"By the time you're done with it, you may have done anywhere from 10 up-downs to hundreds of up-downs," wide receiver T.J. Thorpe said Monday. "You see who's doing what and to be in front of your teammates, it kind of shows them, 'Hey, this is what I'm putting out for you guys. This is how much I care. This is how much I'm giving up for you guys.'"
Thorpe said each athlete handles the spotlight differently. Some feel humiliated that they are making their 300-pound teammates run at their expense, while others are angered. But the purpose of the activity remains the same: to motivate. UNC amassed 15 penalties for 130 yards Saturday against Clemson.
Despite the wide receivers missing approximately 20 assignments, Thorpe said that his group as a whole got off relatively easy on Sunday.
"I can't remember exactly how many. In the receiving room alone, we might have had about maybe getting close to 15. We did pretty good," he said. "A lot of stuff was mental miscues. A lot of stuff wasn't overtly things we needed to be punished for, just coached up for. It wasn't too bad."
- Still a work in progress, but the defense is improving
Fedora said Saturday after the Clemson loss that one of the main focuses for his defense was to stop the run game.
His front seven certainly pulled through, holding the fast-paced Tigers to just 92 rushing yards.
"When you look at the whole body of work, and you really break it down, there were some good things," Fedora said. "You hold them to 2.1 rushing yards per attempt, you hold them under 100 yards. We had multiple guys getting to the football, we tackled much better, so there were some bright spots defensively up front."
But the secondary is still a work in progress, as Clemson accumulated more than 400 yards through the air. Fedora harped on the missed assignments, which catalyzed a career day for Deshaun Watson.
In his first career start, Watson threw for 435 yards and broke an ACC record for touchdowns in a first start, with six.
"We've just got to get better in the secondary," senior defensive tackle Ethan Farmer said. "We got pressure like we were supposed to, and we just had some mistakes in the back end."
- Fedora waiting for all three phases of the game to click at the same time
It didn't happen Saturday, and it hasn't happened all season.
There are times when the offense is finding a rhythm and putting enough points on the board to win a football games, but the defense isn't complementing those efforts. There are other days when the defense is stepping up, but are overworked by short, inefficient offensive drives. The special teams crew also has its moments of inconsistency.
Fedora is waiting for the day where all three parts come together in one game. But he knows it's a rarity.
"I think you can go through as many games as you've seen, and there are very seldom (instances) where all three phases are hitting on all three cylinders and playing extremely well," Fedora said. "It doesn't happen very often, it's something we dream about as coaches, and we're trying to strive for, but it doesn't happen very often."
In response, Fedora said, it's up to the side of the ball that is gelling to pick up the side that is struggling. In the past two games, the offense has pulled its weight — scoring 41 points against East Carolina and then 35 against Clemson. It's been the defense that has needed the extra push in the right direction.
But Fedora knows that there will come a day soon when that scenario is reversed.
"You can be as frustrated as you want, but I'm not going to pin it on one side and say that's the reason," he said. "We're a team. And the only way we're going to get better as a team is to continue to pull together as a team. There are going to be times where the offense is going to struggle and the defense is going to have to pick up and they're going to have to make it happen for the offense."