Tar Heels ready for next stretch

Annette Crawford
October 17, 2018

North Carolina got into the red zone for the first time of the night after Fortin picked up 40 yards on the ground, putting the team at the eight-yard line.

"We got a lot of fundamental work with our football team and got a lot of reps", Fedora said. And when the light has been green, the Tar Heels have had trouble accelerating.

Facing third-and-15, Elliott threw with his back foot in the end zone, Carl Tucker caught the ball at the 44-yard line and ran for a total of 80 yards on the play.

That, however, was the last points the Hokies would score for almost 2½ quarters against a Tar Heels defense bolstered by the return of ends Malik Carney and Tomon Fox from suspension, and tackle Aaron Crawford and safety Myles Dorn from injury.

UNC started true freshman Cade Fortin at quarterback in search of a spark, though he left before halftime with an apparent right leg injury. It was his third game of 100 or more yards as a Tar Heel, and the most yards he's gained in a single game.

Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis (5) breaks a tackle-attempt by North Carolina's Chris Collins (17) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

UNC's next drive began with a false start, then another sack on Fortin, and ended on a missed 43-yard field goal attempt (wide left).

Jones missed another field goal in the third quarter and made another field goal in the fourth, to make it 19-14.

"We were a charity unit", offensive coordinator Chris Kapilovic said this week when reflecting on the 47-10 loss at Miami in the most-recent game September 27. Jones made four, and often bailed out a Tar Heels offense that couldn't find the end zone.

Jones was good from 22 yards out for a 9-7 lead with 49 seconds to play in the first half.

Although the field goal put UNC ahead 9-7, the possession proved costly when Fortin was injured scrambling for yardage on a third down play.

"That last drive", Keene said, "was really incredible". "I thought he was very poised".

Elliott, the much-maligned junior, was almost as good after coming on in relief.

Elliott lofted a 3-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Ratliff-Williams on the team's first possession of the second half. That was still the score when UNC took over again with nine minutes to play in the game. But on a first-and-goal play from the one, the Tar Heels came away empty again when te helmet of Tech safety Tyree Rodgers knocked the ball out of Carter's grasp.

"It was just a good hit", said Carter, who rushed for 165 of his team's 235 yards.

"I don't even worry about the stats man". The Hokies converted four third downs in addition to the fourth down on their final drive. The fourth down conversion was a 12-yard scramble by Willis on a play in which he looked to be trapped by a UNC rush that sacked him four times in the game.

"It's tough sitting there watching it happen", Elliott said.

That, linebacker Cole Holcomb said, still doesn't let the defense off the hook for failing to get one last stop.

"Give them the credit, they made the plays when they had to and they got it done", UNC coach Larry Fedora said, adding: "We just didn't make enough plays to win the football game". "It's just finish the game".

And yet, the Hokies hung in — then pounced when they got a chance to snatch the game away. "That's what it came down to".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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