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UNC vs Wake Forest

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Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, October 29th, 3:30 PM
TV: ESPNU
Records: UNC 5-3, 1-3 ACC; WFU 5-2, 4-1 ACC

The crucial two game stretch begins today.

This game could very well be a must-win for a variety of reasons. The foremost being the real need to stop the recent slide of bad play which has produced two losses, the last one in embarrassing fashion. The Heels are at a critical juncture with real questions arising concerning whether the overall confidence of the team is completely shot. This game represents an opportunity to right the ship, notch a solid win against a good team and get bowl eligible, all on the same afternoon. A well executed win here builds momentum for the big showdown next week in Raleigh.

Wake Forest presents a number of problems, not the least of which is the Demon Deacons are well coached. The other rather pressing issue is Wake Forest has the 24th best passing attack in the country. The Deacs are a terrible rushing team but can pass the ball which is not a good sign for the Heels considering the seemingly lack of solutions for the play of the secondary. Wake is going to pass the ball and do it often which could make for an ugly day. That is unless UNC can simply turn the linebackers loose which takes most of down the path of insanity. We keep hoping for that and it never happens.

Much like the past few games where stopping the other team might prove difficult, UNC should be able to lean on the offense. Wake Forest has a good but not great defense with the 37th ranked rushing defense and the 72nd rated pass defense. While Gio Bernard appears to be back to full health, UNC will probably lean on the pass more. Actually I don't really know what UNC will do on offense and neither does anyone else, John Shoop included. Convention says keep the offense balanced with a tilt to the passing game but Shoop will likely do the opposite or worse yet run when he should pass and pass when he should run. Hopefully players can simply make plays, Bryn Renner can play mistake free football and Gio Bernard run for 100 yards again(he need 189 yards for 1000.) Dwight Jones is being hampered by a thigh injury however UNC's other receivers such as Erik Highsmith and Jhay Boyd have shown they can be threats. There is no reason all three receivers can't make big contributions in this one given the right playcalling. Yeah, I know.

I am going to go with the hopeful fan pick here and say UNC stops the skid, gets bowl eligible and has their heads up going to Raleigh.

UNC 31 Wake Forest 24