November 4, 2007

Errors dog Heels even in victory

Carolina won a football game on Saturday, but the Tar Heels still made too many of the same mistakes that continue to haunt them each week, Coach Butch Davis said on Sunday.

UNC threw two interceptions, committed a fumble, had quarterback T.J. Yates sacked three times. In addition, Carolina committed 11 penalties for 66 yards in losses and converted just three of 13 third-down opportunities.

"As happy as we are to win, certainly we have to play much better in these next three games to continue to make some improvements," Davis said. "The penalties, we have to play much more efficiently. Sometimes unnecessary roughness and things like that happen, but the dumb penalties - lining up neutral zone, not enough guys lining up on the line of scrimmage on a punt - those are things we have to be a lot sharper in our execution. We've got to play better offensively from the standpoint of eliminating some of the negative plays, the sacks and the tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

"We have to give our offense a better opportunity to function in better down-and-distance situations. We need to keep the down-and-distance situations much more manageable on first, second and third downs. It's too hard to be in second-and-20, first-and-15. We're happy that we won, but we've got to work to play better."

The good news is the defense made its greatest progress yet. The Terrapins thrive on running the ball, but Carolina held Maryland to 93 yards rushing. In addition, junior safety Trimaine Goddard intercepted a pass and led the team with 10 tackles.

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