The North Carolina football Tar Heels will host the Maryland Terrapins in a game that might not happen again for many years to come. Maryland is set to leave the ACC after the 2013 season and therefore they probably will not come back to Kenan Stadium for quite a while. The Heels come into the game with a 7-4 record whilst the Terps are clinging to a lackluster season with a 4-7 record. The following are the keys that UNC will need to focus on in order to send Maryland out of Chapel Hill in the proper manner, with a loss.
- Let Giovani Bernard get back to being Bernard. Despite the blowout victory against Virginia last week, Bernard only gained 57 yards rushing. In the game previous to that against Georgia Tech, Bernard only mustered 78 yards rushing. Bernard needs to exceed 100 yards rushing this week. Last week Maryland gave up 237 yards rushing to Florida State. There’s no reason why the Heels cannot accumulate the same amount.
- UNC quarterback, Bryn Renner, needs to continue to look for one of their most talented freshman, Quinshad Davis. Davis tied the receptions for a game record with 16 against Virginia. The Tar Heels need to continue to look for their rising young star.
- Get to the quarterback. Maryland has been inundated with injuries this season. The most notable one has been at quarterback, and then another qb, and then another, and then there was the 4th one. Maryland is down to their 5th string qb. Freshman linebacker, (yes, linebacker) Shawn Petty, is now their starting quarterback. Quarterback is arguably the toughest position in sports. So coming into an ACC finale game with linemen and linebackers in your face should not bode well for the Terps.
- Stop the run and disguise coverage. Stopping the running game by stacking the box against Maryland will put the game in the hands of the quarterback mentioned above. That pressure, along with confusing Petty with incognito coverage will surely allow for turnovers in the Tar Heels’ favor.
I’m a firm believer that any team can beat any other team on any given day; however this might be the exception. There are too many factors in this one that give UNC the edge. Everything taken into account, the Heels should run away with this one. Las Vegas has North Carolina favored by 24.5 points and I think that’s a little low. Look for Carolina to put up big numbers all around to make it an outstanding senior day in Chapel Hill.