If you're going to lose in Charlottesville -- as the UNC football team has every time it has played there since 1981 -- at least go out swinging.
UNC absolutely did not do that in a 16-13 overtime loss to Virginia Saturday.
I totally disagree with Tar Heel coach Butch Davis's decision with 47 seconds left in regulation to shut down his offense and play for overtime. It didn't take long for that to backfire. UNC got the ball first in OT, managed only a field goal, and then Virginia rammed in a TD to win in a game in which the Cavaliers (who lost 31-3 to Duke not that long ago) had never led until that very moment.
Congrats to Virginia for scoring impressive TDs each of the last two times it had the ball, but Davis deserves some of the blame for this one. After the Tar Heel defense allowed Virginia to tie the score at 10 with a TD with 47 seconds left, the ensuing kickoff went into the end zone.
That meant UNC had first-and-10 on its own 20. The Tar Heels have a good kicker, they have a decent QB (although to be fair, Cam Sexton struggled Saturday) and they still have a couple of very good receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Brooks Foster. In college football, because of the way the clock stops so often, 47 seconds is an eternity.
Instead, Davis had Sexton kneel twice, and you just knew that would be the end of it there. It was. UNC had started playing not to lose instead of trying to win (also evidenced by the 3-man rush it threw against Virginia for much of that fourth-quarter TD drive). And that doesn't cut it.
The Tar Heels fell to 5-2 with the loss, and you can bet they dropped out of the AP Top 25 and that they won't be going to Tampa for the ACC title game now.
6 months ago