I don’t even want to talk about this game. I know y’all don’t want me to talk about it, and I know that what we really need to do is to just burn the tape and act like this never happened. The problem, however, is that Clemson is coming up next week for the ACC championship game, and we need to discuss how there are some major problems that are going to make both that game and whichever bowl game they get a really bad time.
UNC went into this game with the same offense that played against Georgia Tech, though give credit to NC State for being responsible for some of that. Drake Maye had a really hard time connecting with his receivers due to the pressure he was facing, but also the Wolfpack’s defensive backs playing really good coverage. What is hard to believe is that Maye was only sacked twice because it felt like a lot more than that during the game. It also didn’t help that we saw more drops from some of the wide receivers, which made everything that much more frustrating.
Incredibly the defense did their job for most of the game, holding NC State to just 17 points until the fourth quarter. Even when they got into the final frame they only allowed a touchdown, but unfortunately they allowed one touchdown too many. The one saving grace was Drake Maye putting together a fantastic final drive to send things to overtime, and after both teams were held to a field goal in the first overtime, Noah Burnette missed his final field goal, giving the Wolfpack the victory.
Perhaps the biggest red flag going into next week’s game against Clemson is that UNC’s offense has somehow lost all of the steam that it gained during most of the regular season. They were held under 30 points by both Georgia Tech and NC State, which prior to the game against the Yellow Jackets hadn’t happened since their win against Miami. This offense was the only thing holding this season together, and in a way it always felt like this shoe would finally drop in a big way and ruin the end of the season. Once again, credit to the Wolfpack for how they played in this game, but the Heels’ holes are finally ripped wide open, and I don’t think there’s any way of patching them.
Next week’s game for the ACC championship will be at 8pm/ET on ABC.