Saturday, October 3rd at 3:30 on ESPNU the red hot Tar Heels(3-1) (0-0) look to win their conference opener for the second time since 2001 as they face a Georgia Tech team full of worries. Coach Paul Johnson was quoted saying after practice ” North Carolina will have a good team, but I’m more worried about fixing our problems.”
This comes as no surprise after the Yellow Jackets had their fourth worst game in terms of yards per carry average for a game at 2.88 yards. This O-line that played so well last year has struggled this year, especially against a hungry Duke team that showed that they would not be coasting through the ACC Costal division. The departure of senior Shaquille Mason last year seemed to kill the line, as they look for another leader, quarterback Justin Thomas obviously seemed frustrated on Saturday with his lack of help from his line at times against that Duke defense led by potential ACC sleeper of the year Jeremy Cash. There was not all dark and gloom over this Georgia Tech offense as Sophomore Ricky Jeune caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. It just was not enough production from the Georgia Tech offense. After averaging 67 points per game in its first two games, the Yellow Jackets rushed for only 3.6 yards per rush and less than 200 yards per game against more competitive competition. Georgia Tech hopes to make up for this Rambling Wreck offensive line against an impressive North Carolina team that has won two straight.
Saturday the Tar Heels took on FCS Delaware team that put up a good fight in the first half as senior Marquise Williams continued to struggle at home. A second half spark came in the form of backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky the ACC quarterback of the week. Trubisky played only in the second half and finished 17/30 with 312 yards and four touchdowns. After the game Larry Fedora assured everyone that Williams was still the starter, he thought a change at Quarterback in the second half would provide a spark. The offense has looked free flowing in the last two games, as the Heels managed to create history by not punting the ball once against Delaware. Something the Heels have not done since 1994. This confident offense is backed up by a defense that has potential to be dependable. The Tar Heels have not won in Bobby Dodd Stadium since 1997 but Larry Fedora says his team will not focus on that at all. Fedora said he is still undecided on if Trubisky will get some snaps Saturday. Trubisky and WIlliams have both confirmed there is no bad blood between the two after Saturday.
Saturday will not be like the previous couple of years, where the offense for both teams are scoring at will. This game will be won in the trenches. One determining factor in this game will be who’s offense gets into a better flow in the first half and who’s defense can disrupt the other’s offense throughout the game, and never let them get into a rhythm.
Prediction: 23-17 UNC