Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Mack Brown met with the media following UNC’s win over Florida A&M on Saturday and
talked about a variety of topics. From the debut of Drake Maye to looking ahead to Appalachian State, here are a few takeaways from what the coach said earlier today.
Coach Brown was proud of the offense and Drake Maye in particular as they scored 56 points
and had over 600 total yards in the win. Brown mentioned Sam Howell in the press conference as he compared Maye’s mental preparation to Howell, saying that Maye was harder on himself about the three passes he missed than the ones he made. Brown was especially proud of the running game as they had 314 yards on 40 carries. Brown also spoke on the depth at the running back position. “We’re trying to end the game and he (Elijah Green) is about to score,” Brown mentioned Green multiple times as he was the last to touch the ball in the RB room but was still effective late.
Brown talked about the defense in depth as he mentioned turnovers (Carolina forced
two, gave up none.) He mentioned the front seven, “if you stop the run, you win the game, they had no running at all. The front seven did a tremendous job.” Brown talked about the
importance of forcing turnovers and stopping the run, both of which he felt like the Heels did
well Saturday. Brown mentioned the young players on both sides of the ball, but particularly liked what he saw out of the two young secondary members Donte Balfour and Deandre Boykins but stressed the point that they're still young. “Those two young corners got really their first playing time.” He also mentioned building depth in the secondary as well as avoiding giving up big throws down the field. Overall, however, he was very proud of the defense in general.
Looking ahead to Appalachian State, Brown said that the biggest challenge of facing the
Sun Belt Conference school might be the fact that it’s a road game. Brown said to the media
that “We have to win on the road.” Brown made it a key to the growth of the program by saying: “We’re heading in the right direction, we just have to win on the road. The great programs win on the road.”
While Brown answered several key questions, several went unasked, thus not getting
answered, here are three more questions that I feel should have been asked in his press
1. Is Maye the unquestioned starter moving forward?
Maye was talked about quite a bit in the press conference as Brown was proud of the
young QB. Brown has insisted that the best in practice, plays in the game, so we will have to
pay attention to practice over the course of the week.
2. Is there an unquestioned starter at running back?
Brown likes all of his running backs and did not mention going into the Appalachian
State a starter at running back. However, he did mention liking what Omarion Hampton has
done. This is another spot where the Heels will likely turn to practice to determine a starter for
3. What is the injury situation for Tony Grimes and Josh Downs?
The injury status of these two key players for the Heels has been updated by the
university and they are listed as questionable for next week. Brown did not go much further
than say he hopes Grimes will be back and he did not mention Downs at all.
UNC will play Appalachian State on Saturday at noon eastern in what will be a key game
for the Tar Heels as the 2022 season kicks into full swing.