Nov, 17, 2011; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas (3) runs for a touchdown as North Carolina Tar Heels defensive tackle Sylvester Williams (92) defends in the third quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

UNC Football: Front Running Key to Heels Success Against the Hokies

Logan Thomas entered the 2012 college football season as a candidate for the Heisman trophy and to be selected as the ACC’s premiere signal caller.  As I discussed in my ACC Preview of Logan Thomas his inconsistency and lack of big time play makers at the receiving position along with the loss of David Wilson to the NFL was not the signs of a quarterback ready for Heisman accolades.

The College pundits again picked Va. Tech to be one of the flagships for the ACC and a possible national title candidate.  After five weeks we can put that notion to rest as the Hokies bring in a offense that does not strike fear in opponents and the vaunted Tech defense surrender a late touchdown winning drive to Cincinnati and gave up 35 points to Pitt.

However this is Virginia Tech who routinely finds its offense in Chapel Hill particularly early in the second half.  The key to the Heels success this week will be red zone offense and third down conversions.  The Heels have struggled on third down in their two losses and at the same time been inconsistent on converting third down.  Although Coach Larry Fedora does not worry about time of possession third down conversions are keys to sustaining drives.

The Tar Heels look more fluid when their offense has chances to jump back on the field after a three and out by the defense.  Perhaps t is the speed of the offense that catches the defense off guard, but Bryn Renner looks more comfortable the more chances he has in the game.  Thus converting on third down and getting off the field for the defense will be areas to watch closely this Saturday.

Although the Hokies look like a team reeling heading into Chapel Hill the Tar Heels must be sharp in all three phases of the game to pull out a mild upset win.

Tags: Football North Carolina Tar Heels Virginia Tech Hokies

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