North Carolina vs Georgia Tech, 7:00 PM, ESPNU
If UNC has any designs on turning the season around(as unlikely as that might seen) it has to start versus Georgia Tech. UNC only has three home games left on the schedule, this is one of them. The complicating factor for UNC is Georgia Tech presents an offense the Tar Heels have been unable to stop several years running now. Even Butch Davis' teams with NFL talent at key positions in the front seven couldn't do much against Paul Johnson's triple option. Now the Tar Heel defense is prone to missing assignments and has trouble tackling. Those two in combinations can prove fatal against an offense where assignments and good tackling are a must.
The other problem for UNC is the fact Georgia Tech will milk every ounce of clock available. There is an eight minute difference in average time of possession between these two teams. Last season, Georgia Tech held the ball for over 40 minutes to UNC's nineteen. If something like that occurs again, UNC may very well need to score on every offensive possession. Punting just once might be enough to do the Tar Heels in providing nothing else goes wrong.
Aside from offensive efficiency, UNC must find a way to limit Georgia Tech's scoring. Assuming the Heels can exploit Georgia Tech's defensive woes, holding the Yellow Jackets to a field goal or even getting a random stop might be enough to get UNC ahead of the curve. If Georgia Tech is forced to play from behind, it forces the Yellow Jackets to depend more on the pass and less likely to engage in nearly as much ball control. That could open the door for more offensive chances the Heels can capitalize on. Speaking of the offense, it remains to be seen if Marquise Williams has another game like last week in him or if the running backs can provide some support. Conventional wisdom says the Heels can't wholly depend on Williams to do everything but if that's the case, it would be nice to see his efforts rewarded with a win.
In the end, UNC is going to need some breaks. The Tar Heel defense will need to get off field by any means necessary whether it be turnovers by Georgia Tech or finding a way to get stops against the triple option. If UNC can do that and continue the offensive roll from last Saturday, there is a chance UNC can't stop the four game losing skid
Georgia Tech 38 UNC 28