North Carolina’s second-half rally came up short on Saturday as the Tar Heels were defeated by visiting Virginia 20-14.
It was the fourth consecutive loss for coach Larry Fedora’s squad, which fell to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in ACC play.
The Tar Heels made a switch at quarterback, benching Chazz Surratt in favor of Brandon Harris, but Harris completed just 7 of 18 passes for 46 yards and was intercepted three times.
One of the highlights was the play of freshman running back Michael Carter, who rushed for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 13 carries.
Here is what Fedora told reporters following his team’s loss:
Opening statement: “I’m proud of the effort that our guys are playing with. I told them that I’m proud of them. We’ve gotta find a way to get over the hump. Somebody’s gotta step up in a key situation and make a play. But the effort that these guys are giving every day … is a big deal for me. The way they come to practice every day, their attitudes that they come out there with, the smiles on their faces, how hard they work and it just kills me that I can’t help them get over the hump or I haven’t been able to get them over the hump at this point.”
On a potential facemask penalty that wasn’t called: “They felt like the quarterback in that situation was a runner and they didn’t feel like he grabbed the facemask.”
On the passing game: “We had some problems in protection today. We had some problems with guys creating some separation in the secondary. Those were the two main things. I thought Brandon (Harris) did a nice job of taking the ball where it was supposed to go. There’s a couple balls that he’d probably like to have back, didn’t get to step in to for some protection breakdowns but I think the kid played hard. I think he gave everything he had.”
On starting Harris instead of Surratt: “He had a better week in practice. He had a better week in practice. I thought he practiced really hard and made some good decisions in practice so we decided to go with him.”
On whether Surratt was available to play: “He could have played if we needed him to.”
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