The Heels opened up a USDA certified grade A can of you know what.
I so enjoyed watching this one in person. More on that later.
Following the crushing loss to UVa last week, things did not start well for the Heels who have up a FG on BC's first drive and then on their third play on offense, Cam Sexton was sacked and fumbled the football which was picked up by BC for a TD to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead. What happened after that was a smackdown pure and simple as the Heels outscored BC 45-14 the rest of the way. And yes the two additional touchdowns UNC gave up came from the Heels playing a prevent pass defense which makes the only thing that went wrong in this game outside of the Sexton fumble.
Needless to say UNC found it's passing game again, despite the loss of Brandon Tate by getting the ball to Hakeem Nicks by any means necessary. It paid off in the form of four TDs and 161 all purpose yards for the junior receiver. Sexton also showed the ability to hit Nicks for the big touchdown pass as John Shoop loosened up the play calling a bit giving the UNC offense a more aggressive look. What is notable about that is UNC basically had no running game for most of the contest. BC shutdown the run early on, at least runs coming from the tailback slot. UNC did find some success running the football giving the ball to Nicks on end arounds but mostly it was a passing affair for both teams. UNC made the most that arrangement on both sides of the ball as well. On offense it was Nicks and on defense it was three more INTs to extend the Heels' national lead in that category. Kendric Burney snagged two INTs running one back to the goal line which Ryan Houston finished off from the one. Trimane Goddard took the third Chris Crane INT back to the house to give UNC a 38-17 lead which essentially ended any hope BC had.
Overall the defense was very good in terms of slowing BC down. The Eagles really did not run the ball much so it was on the Heels' secondary to stop the passing game. The defensive backs got help from some good pressure up front which rattled Crane a bit. BC was held to 244 yards of total offense with about half those yards coming from drives at the end of each half where the Heels deployed their now infamous prevent defense. It is very much still a work in progress and one has to wonder if or when the coaching staff plans to try something new.
If there is anything certain about UNC it is they do a good job in bouncing back from losses. Despite youth, this Tar Heel team has a knack for refocusing following a loss. This even more impressive considering in both cases the Heels fell behind to start the game but rallied to win the game. The easier path would have been to fold up, especially after going down 10-0 with the sting of the UVa loss still fresh. Not this crew and all the credit in the world goes to the coaches who have done well to hold this team's concentration. And Sexton is the lead example of how well this has worked. Last week Sexton was not very good, this week he posts 200+ yards on 19-30 passing for three TDs and the ever important zero INTs. UNC got back to basics which was winning the turnover margin and it paid off in a huge way.
For only the third time this decaded, UNC is bowl eligible. The Heels move to 6-2 overall and even with a 2-2 close on the season, UNC would win eight games. If they can run the table, then we are looking at the possibility of 10-2. It is a great position to be in at this point in the season.