After struggling to get something out offensively for most of the game, UNC scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to reduce the lead of 21 Wake Forest points to three on Friday. The Tar Heels then forced the Demon Deacons to settle for a field goal, which culminated a drive that left only 1:09 for a winning touchdown opportunity. Sixty seconds pbaded and all UNC could do was reach its own 45-yard line.
Now, imagine that you are the coach of Tar Heels, Mack Brown, in this scenario and, thanks to the rules of the university, the clock stops after a first down, specifically, you may have two plays before the end of the game. What do you do? Do you use both moves to make shots in the final zone, or do you use the first play to get as close as possible to the goal line so that the second requires less desperate effort? If you decided on the latter, congratulations, you and Brown have the same football mind. If your first hypothetical play was more than a tie game in the middle, congratulations once again, you have a better football mind than Brown.
Unfortunately for Brown, this was not the 2009 Big 12 Championship game, and runner Michael Carter was not Colt McCoy throwing a pbad out of bounds, so he did not get the second second he was looking for, even after ref. He reviewed the final play. However, to Brown's credit, he had a strong enough case to recover some time, as ESPN discovered in a super slow repetition that was shown after the game was called.
Brown said after the game, "The officer on my side held on a second … The next thing I know is that they are running off the field and I would have liked the opportunity of a Hail Mary."
That said, if you subscribe to the belief that the game streak should help dictate the winner and loser of a game, then you could see this result for the Tar Heels as well deserved, even beyond the far fetched end of the playcall. UNC produced all 71 yards in the first half, and had a series of impulses quite miserable to start the game.
Even if they managed to return to a score of 21-18, the Tar Heels did no favor when they allowed Wake Forest to exhaust five of the last six minutes of the game during the last course of the Demon Deacons game. Any worthwhile coach would see the way this game ended, and he would realize that there are many lessons to learn about how to better handle a situation like this in the future. Even the players acknowledged the general shortcomings, with quarterback Sam Howell telling reporters after the game: "At the end of the day, this was about me." I have to play a lot better for our team to win. "
Don't be too hard on yourself, Sam. Your coach should probably also call better plays too.