There was something strangely familiar about North Carolina’s loss to South Carolina to open the regular season, from the three interceptions tossed by quarterback Marquise Williams through the strange decision to continue passing deep inside scoring territory despite the Tar Heels’ successful running game.
UNC also had lost to South Carolina in its opener two years earlier. Inconsistency had been a hallmark of Larry Fedora’s tenure with the program since his arrival in 2012, which alternated brief spurts of excellence with extended bursts of mediocrity — or worse.
The Tar Heels won eight games in 2012. Seven games a year later. Six games a season ago. Losing to South Carolina, and losing in the manner they did, seemed to reinforce the theme of a program set on a downward trajectory.
Yet this team hasn’t lost since: UNC owns the nation’s third-longest winning streak, 11 games and counting, and heads into Saturday’s…