I wouldn't have thought at the start of the season that the last undefeated team Carolina would meet on the field would be the former bottom-dwellers of the Big East conference. And yet here's Connecticut, 5-0 and 23rd/24th in the polls, and standing astride a weak conference. They're not unlike Virginia Tech in many of those regards, come to think of it.
The Huskies' undefeated record hasn't been achieved particularly impressively. The first four opponents were laughably easy; two of them, Hofstra (2-2) and Virginia (1-3), UConn handled without difficulty, but they required late-game heroics to squeak by Temple (1-4) in overtime and Baylor (2-2). In their first real challenge against Louisville, Connecticut again needed a fourth quarter comeback, with an interception return for a touchdown with under three minutes remaining.
They've gotten to this point on the back of Donald Brown, who has already racked up more yards than in each of his previous two seasons. He has 11 of the team's 18 touchdowns and with a new freshman quarterback replacing injured Tyler Lorenzen, he'll probably get even a larger share of the offense. If UNC's previous defensive efoorts are any guide, look for the Huskis to get a quick score on the ground, hopefully to be followed by a clamping down on the running game.
It's tough to judge a defense against this level of competition, but in the last two weeks UConn has given up 377 yards to Baylor and a whopping 508 to Louisville. They were better at stopping the run until the Cardinals sent to players through them for over a hundred yards apiece, so who really knows where they stand.
Assuming UNC continues to improve from the Miami game, they shouldn't have too much trouble against a team with a similar offense to the Hurricanes but not nearly as punishing a defense. I'd expect a touchdown and a half margin of victory, but I'm known to be optimistic. This si the second in a three game stretch of games on the national stage for the Heels and can go along way to propelling them into the Top 25, not to mention winning a little respect for a beleaguered conference. Here's hoping things go well.