UNC downed James Madison in the home opener for their second win of the 2016 season. FCS opponents are the ones you’re supposed to look great against, and that was definitely true for at least half of the team. Here are three things we learned from the Tar Heels’ win over the Dukes.
No, really, you don’t need to worry about Mitch Trubisky
Long gone are the concerns of how Trubisky would step into the role of the Tar Heel starting quarterback while he was getting roughed up in the Georgia Dome. Two straight strong performances against Illinois and James Madison have Trubisky looking like a fantastic option for the Heels, capable of hitting a receiver down the field or using his legs to pick up yardage.
It certainly looks like Trubisky is living up to the hype that surrounded him heading into the season, and he’ll definitely need to be that good over the tough stretch Carolina has coming up if the team intends to defend their crown as Coastal champions.
The defensive depth is scary thin
Injuries have been piling up for the Tar Heels on defense, and there just aren’t enough good options to replace them. There is no doubt about it that Carolina missed the presence of Nazair Jones on Saturday against JMU, and the defense is the one area of the team that needs the most improvement heading into ACC play.
More defensive players getting hurt means more inexperience on the field. That’s not really something the Tar Heel defense can stand while they try to find their footing, especially against the run. Injuries are unavoidable, of course, but hopefully UNC’s luck changes with losing players where they can really afford it the least.
Penalties will kill them if they continue
There were unsportsmanlike penalties for days in UNC’s win against James Madison, and it was really unacceptable. Yes, it certainly seemed like the refs were the only one to see (or hear) most of them, but it’s definitely not the first game this year where Carolina has gotten themselves into trouble with penalties.
Everyone just has to be more disciplined. Bottom line. Frustrations running over can’t be an excuse to go out there and get flagged multiple times for unsportsmanlike conduct. It didn’t hurt them too badly in the game against James Madison, but it is a huge red flag going forward. A dumb penalty at the wrong time can be the difference between a win and a loss against a big time team. Someone has to be able to get through to the players that it simply isn’t acceptable.
What did you learn from UNC’s victory on Saturday?