Where: BB&T Field (formerly known as Groves Stadium)
When: Saturday, October 27th, 12:00 PM
TV: Raycom/Lincoln Financial Regional
Records: UNC 2-5, 1-2 ACC; Wake Forest 5-2, 3-1 ACC
Given the peculiarities found in Jim Grobe's spread offense it is a good thing UNC had the bye week prior to seeing the Deacons. And if UNC wants get to six wins, this game is pretty much a must win since taking down Georgia Tech is probably a taller task. The main issue is the spread offense is tough to defend for experience defenses I can only imagine how much more so it will be for a Tar Heel team that is still fairly inexperienced and has shown propensities for having trouble covering the run as well as short passes. At the same time the Heels showed some improvement on defense versus Miami and SCAR, we can only hope that continues against Wake.
Offensively, UNC will be facing a good but not necessarily great defensive unit. The problem is Wake tends to play smart which is a by-product being experienced and playing in a good system. T.J. Yates and the passing game have been a little off since the first three games when Yates threw for nine TDs. The appearance of some quality defenses on the other side curtailed some of the effectiveness of the passing game but the Tar Heel receivers are still plenty dangerous. The real question is whether we will see more plays like UNC employed versus SCAR with direct snaps to Greg Little and even more use of Little in the regular flow of the offense. If Little can continue to grow as an multiple threat offensive weapon alongside Brandon Tate and Hakeem Nicks, it will make the Heels more than a handful for opposing defenses.
UNC played Wake Forest close last season in Chapel Hill six days after Dick Baddour started handing out pink slips to the coaching staff. Given the level of competitiveness UNC has shown and the Heels' penchant for losing close games I am fairly confident the same will be true here.
Wake Forest 23 UNC 20