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Weekly Report Card: Pitt

Carolina beat Pitt to head to the top of the ACC Coastal Division and enter the top 25.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Carolina beat Pitt on the road Thursday night behind a strong first half which saw the Heels take a 20-3 lead into the break. Carolina hung on to win 26-19 behind the bend but don't break defense which has epitomized the Heels this season. The play calling in this game was a marked difference than the normal Fedora play calling. The play calling became very conservative at times and Carolina opted to kick field goals in multiple short yardage situations. There were points in the second half where the Heels could put the game away with another touchdown but chose to kick instead. Nick Weiler was able to answer the call by hitting all four of his FG attempts but a bit more aggression from the coaches could have put the game away earlier.

Weekly Grades:

Play a Complete Game: A-

Carolina came out strong in this game, avoiding their slow first quarters that they have experienced in the past few weeks. Carolina opened up a 17 point lead at the half and played a better first half than second half for the first time all season. The defense came up big for the Heels in the second half and ultimately powered the Heels to victory. The Heels also cleaned up their penalties that plagued them against Virginia.

Marquise Williams Needs to Shine: B+

Marquise Williams was subpar in this game with the exception of the Switzer touchdown catch. Outside of that one play Williams' stat line comes to 13/22 for 199 yards and a score with 52 rushing yards on 9 attempts. Williams underwhelmed for most of the game but avoided the turnover that had plagued him previously. Williams needs to play a bit better down the stretch if Carolina wants to run the table into the ACC championship game. There will undoubtedly be times down the stretch when Carolina is challenged more than they were in this Pitt game. Williams will need to elevate his level of play in those moments if Carolina wants to have a shot at the Orange Bowl.

Make Pitt Throw: A

Peterman attempted 42 passes in this game, not including the plays Carolina sacked him. The Panthers only ran the ball 37 times, a far cry from their normal split between run and pass plays. The Heels contained the potential All-American Tyler Boyd and held the Panthers to only 19 points. The Heels were very successful at bottling up the run game, allowing only 4.1 yards per carry. That was one of Pitt's poorest performances all season and one of Carolina's best. If the Heels play like this for the rest of the season, then the Heels can have prestigious postseason dreams.