Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, November 22nd, Noon
TV: Raycom(split with UVA-Clemson)
Records: UNC 7-3 3-3 ACC; NCSU 4-6 2-4 ACC
Time to go wolf hunting.
This game stands to be a tough one. NCSU comes in with all their personnel back and QB Russell Wilson riding a fairly long streak of mistake free football. NCSU is on an upswing and would like to keep their bowl hopes alive with a shocking win at Kenan.
UNC on the other hand has gone the same route as the rest of the top teams in the ACC which is play well 2-3 weeks then lose. That was the case for UNC who beat Boston College and Georgia Tech then followed that with the loss to Maryland. That loss was blamed largely on a weak offense with neither the passing or running aspects asserting themselves in a meaningful way.
For the Heels, the question of who will start at QB preoccupies most folks. I am of the opinion TJ Yates should get his job back and hopefully shake off any rust to get the passing game cranking versus a pass defense that is not really that good. Probably more important than that is for the running game to get going again. Shaun Draughan and Ryan Houston combined for 164 yards against Georgia Tech and promptly disappeared at College Park. Hitting the Pack in the mouth with a strong dose of running while getting the ball to Hakeem Nicks as much as possible is pretty much the key to the game for UNC offensively.
On defense, UNC has to force Wilson and NCSU into doing something they have not been doing and that is making mistakes with the football. Wilson has thrown 175 passes without an INT. Something tells me he is due to makes some errors. If that happens the Heels can exploit it as they have all season. Every UNC win this season has the Heels controlling the turnover margin and the three losses UNC loses that battle. UNC's knack for creating turnovers has been a huge difference this season and should be again in this one.
UNC is still alive in the Coastal with Miami losing to GT. Granted the Virginia schools need to lose but all UNC can do is take care of their business which included going 9-3 and finishing the regular season by beating the two chief rivals.
UNC 34 NCSU 20