North Carolina vs North Carolina A&T, 6:00 PM, ESPN3
There is an interesting debate this time of year. Is it better to start the season versus a quality team or one of the many FCS caliber teams out there. UNC chose the former for the season opener and it didn't go well. Now the attention turns to NC A&T which should serve as means of getting that first win and restoring the proverbial order.
Despite playing an FCS school, much of the focus will be on how Marquise Williams bounces back and the offensive coaching staff decides to give Elijah Hood more carries. Williams' performance against South Carolina was an aberration compared to most of his career at UNC. However, going back to last season it was a third straight game of less than optimal offensive performance for both Williams and the team. A solid game, even against an FCS team, is necessary for Williams and the offense in general to get back into a groove.
Along those lines, during the South Carolina game, Bug Howard was the only receiver to see significant yardage. Ryan Switzer factored in some but Mack Hollins was virtually non-existent and Quinshad Davis likewise did very little. This game should also serve as an opportunity to see receivers not named Bug Howard get some catches not to mention, as Paul put it, more Fedora-y play calling. Because there are so many solid receivers it stands to reason the receiving numbers will be spread out. At the same time, that many options should make it easier for Williams to pick the A&T defense apart.
Speaking of the plays being called, will there be more plays called for Elijah Hood this week? On one hand you would expect Hood's production on just 12 carries last week and the subsequent backlash from his missing the final four offensive plays to prod the offensive staff to feature the sophomore more. That being said, this might not be the best game to do it considering the opponent. Hood might very well rack up big yards on limited carries again this week with the ebb and flow of the game dictating a more diverse use of personnel. Whatever the case, UNC fans have a fever and the cure is more Elijah Hood.
After last week's offensive ineptitude, UNC could very well hit a points bonanza this week just to show the Tar Heels can.
UNC 63 NC A&T 20