Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

UNC Football: Will the Tar Heels Hit their Stride Against Virginia Tech?

The North Carolina Tar Heel football team is officially on a winning streak. As we all know, the Heels stomped on Idaho last Saturday afternoon to the tune of 66-0. Pretty impressive right? I think so too. Even though Carolina’s two game win streak comes against ECU and Idaho at home, the team in general looks a lot more polished than they were a couple weeks ago especially during the first half of the Louisville game.

Over the past couple of games, Carolina’s defense has only allowed an average of 211 total yards and has forced an average of three turnovers per game. Currently the Tar Heels rank 19th in the country in points allowed with 14.6. That’s a pretty impressive line regardless of who your opponents have been. I like how aggressive the defense has been playing of late and how much they’ve matured in Dan Disch’s system. The lineman are putting constant pressure on the quarterback, the linebackers are doing a great job filling holes up the middle and covering the sidelines, the hybrid players are causing disruption in opposing offenses and the secondary is forcing turnovers. All these things will be critical elements in order to obtain victory a Virginia Tech team that’s hungry to prove that they’re still relevant.

Logan Thomas and the Hokies have been relatively stagnant on offense when you compare them to recent years. The unit as a whole only averaging 223 yards ppg couple with 28 points. Only twice this season has Virginia Tech been above that average which occurred during their wins against Austin Peay and Bowling Green.  The defense has been significantly better than the offense as they’ve only allowed 17 ppg, but when you don’t score, you can’t win and I always subscribe to the notion that defense wins championships, but offense wins games. The matchup between an athletic defense of Virginia Tech and the quick offense of UNC will be the one to watch.

Offensively the Tar Heels have been on an absolute tear. They’ve upped their average yards per game total to over 300 and have put an average of over 40 points per game on the scoreboard which ranks 12th in the country. Bryn Renner has been all he was hyped up to be and more since halftime of the Louisville game and has posted very respectable numbers from his position this season. After last week’s game, Renner’s totals have increase to 1422 passing yards and 14 touchdowns to only four interceptions for the season. A healthy Gio Bernard and the emergence of guys like Eric Ebron, Sean Tapley, and Quinshad Davis have really played key factors to Renner’s and the offense’s success as a whole.

Coach Fedora has got to be pleased with the team’s progression as whole and it’s only right to assume that they can only improve. After all, Carolina is still just a mere five games in and on a completely different system. The Virginia Tech game however, will be a huge indicator as to whether or not they’ve hit their stride. I think that UNC has a great chance to really compete for the win and my confidence in them as a whole has drastically risen since Louisville. Don’t think that UNC won’t still experience growing pains, but I think Fedora is definitely on to something.

The Hokies have faltered as of late losing two of their last three including a bad loss to Pittsburgh who dropped their season opener to FCS team Youngstown State. Don’t expect Virginia Tech to play the same way though. We’ve seen the Hokies drop games with no explanation (James Madison) early in the season the past several years only to see them go one a winning streak of mythical proportion and take the ACC Championship along with a Top 10 Ranking. I know Carolina does not want to be responsible for starting this year’s streak.

It should be an exciting game on Saturday in Chapel Hill. Remember to dress in all white and support you Tar Heels.

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Tags: Football North Carolina Tar Heels

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