Carolina kept pace with Pitt and Duke in the race for the Coastal Division crown with an ugly win over Virginia. Carolina struggled through much of the game with penalties but the defense pitched a shut out in the second half to ease Carolina to the win. The Heels need to come out with a better effort against Pitt on Thursday to keep their division title hopes alive.
On to the Grades:
Let's Give Elijah Hood the Ball: A
Hood had a career high 21 carries in this game for 101 yards. Hood was inconsistent in this game--he averaged less than 5 yards per carry! But instead of being a destroyer of worlds Hood was merely above average while recording two touchdowns against Virginia. Hood should still be fresh enough to get 15-20 carries again this week as he hasn't seen much work so far this season. If Hood gets another 20 carries against Pitt it would be a good sign for the Heels.
Keep them One-Dimensional: D
Virginia threw 30 passes and ran the ball 39 times in this game. Carolina's defense looked a lot like the defense of last year in this game as Virginia routinely ran the ball for plus yardage on first down before the defense tightened up in the second half. Carolina still ended up allowing Virginia to average 5.3 yards per carry on the day but still only gave up 13 points. The Heels defense is still finding ways to get it done even when they put up these uninspiring performances. The Heels will need to play better against Pitt and Duke in their next two games if they want to lock up the Coastal.
Take Care of Business: C
It wasn't inspiring, but the Heels managed to pulled this one out to stay on track for a run at the Coastal title. Eventually these slow starts will doom the Heels especially against teams that will be ready to play (Pitt, Duke and State). The Heels have played strong second halves in all of their recent games. That helps, but the Heels will need to show up for a whole 60 minutes if they want to win their next two games to essentially clinch the Coastal.