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UNC Recap

First off, here's a recap from Tar Heel Fan and here's Tar Heel Mania's recap. Nice!

I know Paul Johnson said the following:

We simplified on defense and thought our defense played well and it was a good team effort.

I don't want to sound overly critical because I think our defense played outstanding but I still wonder about our defensive philosophy. We forced 9 three and outs but we're still struggling up front. I think poor play calling and poor execution on UNC's part helped us out big time. The reason I say this is because our DB's are still making the same percentage of tackles they made in the first three games. Offensive skill position guys are still getting to the third tier of our defense because there is very little pressure up front.

On the positive side of the defense, we played a classic drop back passer and didn't get beat. We've seen average drop back dudes (Marc Verica) and good drop back dudes (Jacory Harris, Matt Stafford) eat up Wommack's defense so seeing our DB's perform incredibly well against T.J. Yates, to me, was quite impressive.

Offensively, we executed. We didn't get massive plays of 75 or 80 yards but we didn't need 'em. We ran the ball for 4.59 yards per carry. Guess what? 4.59 times 3 equals 13.78 yards per three downs. Hence, why we were over 50% conversion rate on third downs. Nesbitt was a warrior yesterday and I feel like he made some creative plays similar to the first two or three games in '08 (like VT or BC) with his feet that he might not've had the chance to against Miami and Clemson. Playcalling was incredibly creative and kept the GREAT UNC defense guessing.

My favorite play, by far, is the draw to Dwyer. Dwyer will finally get some open field up the middle and we'll see his speed 'cause no one is giving him anything up the 1-4 holes.

It's hard to complain when your team has such a dominating effort. I tried to find problems in our defense and offense and the only complaints I really had were lack of big plays (flukes) and giving up one big pass play (fluke). Winning the TOP 42:06 to 17:54 is almost comedic. Beating UNC really bad after the embarrassing game in Chapel Hill last year is mightily refreshing to a fan base that was starting to doubt the Skipper. UNC really came into a game that they couldn't have won with the same personnel/coaching 99 times out of 100.

Bird asked me to drop in my thoughts ... I'll just leave the negatives out for right now - Dane. I just want to point out that while Dwyer really is an amazing B-Back, Morgan Burnett is a monster in the secondary and BeBe really is a top 10 receiver - we would be absolutely nowhere if it were not for Josh Nesbitt. Last week I claimed Jacory Harris to be the G-est of G's, but that moniker really should go to our #9. Of course in CPJ's offense, Nesbitt has the opportunity of taking the game into his own hands to a degree that few players have; however, the very fact that our QB has taken drives and even whole games upon his shoulders for us speaks volumes of his fortitude. When Nesbitt is out, our attack clearly suffers. When Nesbitt is in (even after getting trounced by a gang of UNC players due to a late whistle that those refs had no problem calling on Thomas... grrr), I'll say it - we have swagger. Even when he not playing very well, he is always playing hard, and is one of the few players I can never really get that frustrated with. When he is playing well, like in the 8:20 minute 4th quarter drive he maestroed, he looks like the hardest, toughest, and nastiest player I've seen in person. That is all.

GT needed to win to legitimize Paul Johnson's offense and prolong Dave Wommack's career at Tech. GT was embarrassed in week three and was simply hungrier than UNC. UNC was lulled to sleep by a weak opening series of games where the defense literally carried the offense. UNC's offensive line was decimated by injuries. It was a lose-lose-lose for UNC.