When: Saturday, September 26, 12:00 PM
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
TV: Raycom Sports
Records: UNC 3-0, 0-0 ACC, GT 2-1, 1-1 ACC
A lot of Coastal Division marbles on the line here.
The emerging pattern where UNC is concerned is this: UNC will win the game if their defense can handle the opposing team's offense long enough for John Shoop and T.J. Yates to figure out how to put points on the board.
Sounds simplistic I know and most teams operate that way. In UNC's case it appears to be a little more cut and dry in this regard. Sometimes the offense flows freely like it did versus ECU and sometimes it is like mud i.e the UConn game. The constant in both was a defense that held the team on the other side in check. My approach to Tar Heel games this season involves a fairly strong belief that the defense will hold whoever down and a kind of strange trust that Yates will find a way to score points with the offense.
Against GT, the word is if you get the bye week to prepare then you are better off. UNC did not get the bye week but they did spend time on it in training camp and they return nine defensive starters from the team that win 28-7 in Chapel Hill over this offense. UNC also has an excellent run defense that is both quick and disciplined. They are capable of getting the job done in stopping the Yellow Jacket rushing attack. That being said, I am worried about defending the GT passing game. Why? Because no one can continue to be as bad in the passing game as the Jackets have been. The only thing that might stop them from finding it today is the strong possibility of rain in Atlanta. There is also an opportunity there in terms of forcing turnovers, one that UNC corners and safeties are well versed in taking.
The stakes are high in this one and UNC can prove itself to be a contender in the Coastal or at the very least get off to a 1-0 start which puts them in the company of the VT-Miami winner later in the day.
UNC 23 GT 20