I did a look at the Heels defensive stats in late September. Let's see how things have held up since then.
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- Based on total defense, UNC is the 5th best in the country and that is still true when you consider average yards per play. Overall the UNC defense can be counted on to hold an opposing offense to 4.1 yards per play.
- Both the passing and rushing defense are ranked 11th in total yards per game allowed. However the passing offense is actually 3rd overall when you consider yards per attempt.
- The Heels have record 91 tackles for a loss good for fourth. Translation: The front four and linebackers are freaking awesome.
- UNC now as 19 INTs this season which was a stat lifted in the past two games. UNC has 20 a year ago. In the earlier analysis I said UNC was better in stopping the football and getting stops when needed over the 2008 team but were not snagging turnovers as often. Well, now they are doing both which explains why the defense is seemingly better over the past few games than it was earlier.
- The only alarming stat on here is the opponent's red zone conversion. UNC is ranked 106th with opponents scoring 87% of the time they get inside 20. That breaks down to 48% touchdowns and 38% field goals. Now what I cannot factor in looking at these stats is how many times an opposing team has been setup by a turnover versus teams that drove down the field. I suspect there is something to that though I do not have the data to back it up. Based on the stats if an opponent has to work the field the UNC usually makes the stop.
- Overall this is a beast of a defense in terms of the statistics and just the manner in which they play.