North Carolina Preview
|Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:43 AM- -|
North Carolina Preview
It doesn't get much bigger than this. The Tar Heels are 11-1 and are riding an 11-game winning streak after dropping their season opener to South Carolina. They went 8-0 in the ACC and enter the game as one of the hottest teams in the country. However, the schedule has been a concern. North Carolina did not play a team that was ranked when they played them or is in the current top 25. In fact, the only teams UNC beat that had winning records are Pittsburgh, Miami and NC State. Offensively, North Carolina is balanced and dangerous. UNC averages 495.7 yards per game which is 16th in the country. They score 41.3 points per game which is 11th in the nation. The Heels averaged 229.67 yards per game on the ground which ranks 18th in the country. They average 266 yards per game passing which is 33rd in the nation.
It doesn't get much bigger than this.
The Tar Heels are 11-1 and are riding an 11-game winning streak after dropping their season opener to South Carolina. They went 8-0 in the ACC and enter the game as one of the hottest teams in the country. However, the schedule has been a concern. North Carolina did not play a team that was ranked when they played them or is in the current top 25. In fact, the only teams UNC beat that had winning records are Pittsburgh, Miami and NC State.
Offensively, North Carolina is balanced and dangerous. UNC averages 495.7 yards per game which is 16th in the country. They score 41.3 points per game which is 11th in the nation. The Heels averaged 229.67 yards per game on the ground which ranks 18th in the country. They average 266 yards per game passing which is 33rd in the nation.
Senior quarterback Marquise Williams (6-2, 225) is a dual-threat quarterback that was a second-team All-ACC selection. For the season, Williams has completed 185 of 287 passes for 2,601 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Williams has a deep group of receivers that include second-team All-ACC choice Mack Hollins who has 26 receptions for 670 yards and eight touchdowns. Hollins averages 25 yards per catch. Ryan Switzer burned the Tigers last season and has 48 receptions for 623 yards and four scores. Gaffney native Quinshad Davis has caught 46 balls for 505 yards and four scores. Bug Howard has 25 receptions for 435 yards and three scores. Switzer and Davis were third team All-ACC selections.
The Tar Heels have run the ball very effectively this season. All-ACC power back Elijah Hood has 192 carries for 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns. Williams has 786 yards and ten scores on 124 carries. Big-play back T.J. Logan has 60 carries for 372 yards and five touchdowns.
North Carolina is led on the offensive line by first-team All-ACC pick Landon Turner at guard and second-team All-ACC selections Jon Heck at tackle and Caleb Peterson at guard. Center Lucas Crowley is a third-team All-ACC performer.
Defensively, the Tar Heels are much improved. They allow 20.8 points per game which is 19th in the country. UNC gives up 394.9 yards a game which ranks 65th in the nation. The weakness is rushing defense where opponents average 208 yards a game which ranks 106th of 128 FBS schools. They have held opponents to 186 yards passing per game which is 19th.
The best defender up front is third-team defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. The top linebackers are third-team all-conference choice Shakeel Rashad and senior Jeff Schoettmer. The secondary is led by M.J. Stewart, a second-team All-ACC pick at cornerback, and safety Donnie Miles.
These teams have five common opponents. Both beat NC State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Wake Forest. Clemson beat South Carolina but the Gamecocks upended the Tar Heels. Of those five common opponents, Clemson had a better margin of victory against every other opponent, other than Wake Forest. The Tigers offense had more yards than UNC against all five opponents and the only team to have more yards against Clemson than North Carolina was South Carolina.
There are several keys to this game Saturday. First will be turnovers. Clemson has been so much better than most opponents this season that the Tigers have been able to overcome turnovers. Saturday night that will not be the case.
Second is the running game. The team that runs the ball better will have a great chance to win the ACC title game.
Third is the mental aspect. Clemson has not had the chip on its shoulder in recent weeks. The Tigers have entered their last three games as double-digit favorites and have had big leads in all three games. North Carolina should have Clemson's attention.
Another factor is experience. Clemson has played in a lot of big games in recent years. Some have called this the biggest game in Tar Heel football history. How will North Carolina handle the big stage?
Two top ten teams competing for a conference title with national championship hopes on the line is exactly what these teams and the ACC have been looking for.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
|src="https://2cic.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/t/ads/plyler/allstate_logo.gif" border=0> border=0>|
The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at [email protected] Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.
Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Jay Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Zach and Griffin Johnson, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Patrick DeStefano, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Drew Moyer, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Lena Wright, Donna Springs, Elizabeth Bruner, Bobbi Simpson, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Tonya Gibson, Mary Carmen Harman and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.