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The Future of the Gimmick Pass at UNC

Cooter Arnold's first quarter touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks was the fourth attempt by a non-quarterback for the Heels this season and the third completion. I'm mildly curious as to whether Butch Davis and John Shoop are going to continue to throw such plays into the mix as they recruit more talent (with all the inherit controversies involved) and presumably become more of a favored team and less of an upstart.

There's one reason why I wouldn't expect to see so many halfback passes next season, and that's the guy on the other end of it. It helps to compensate a poor passer with an excellent receiver; three of the four intended passes have been to Hakeem Nicks, and the fourth to Brooks Foster. And if you're looking for such plays in the future, expect them to come on first or second down, within ten or fifteen yards from midfield. They typically happen in the first half on short passes that try to get Nicks behind a pulled up secondary looking to stop the run. And there's no guarantee who'll be throwing; Cooter Arnold, Bobby Rome and Brandon Tate all had completions through the air this season. Rome went for 44 yards to Foster against Maryland, and Tate for 12 to Nicks against Miami.