After UNC’s 27-19 win against the Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon, Keeping It Heel went back and graded UNC’s performance in all facets of the game. We handed out grades from A-F in five areas- Offensive Backfield, Receiving Core, Offensive + Defensive Lines, Defensive Linebackers + Secondary, and Special Teams + Coaching. Its hard to grade anyone too harshly after such a great win, but still voice your opinion in the comments below if you think we graded a group too high or too low!
Not much to complain about here. North Carolina’s two quarterbacks, Marquise Williams and Bryn Renner, each thrived in their roles in the game Saturday. Also, TJ Logan and Williams had nice days on the ground. Really, all of UNC’s running backs contributed in the game, with all four backs getting carries and yardage against the Pack. The reason its a B and not an A is the interception from Renner early and the slightly low average yards per carry (4.0.)
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Three different guys had very big games for the Heels on Saturday. Eric Ebron was his usual self, catching nine passes for 70 yards and causing match-up problems for State all game. Quinshad Davis went to work in the red zone, catching a nice jump ball early in the game and adding another TD catch later. The last receiver was Bug Howard, who had a break out game in Raleigh. The freshman Howard caught five passes for 72 yards and asserted himself as a weapon in this offense for years to come. Great performance from this group.
Offensive and Defensive Lines
The D-Line gets high marks, especially Kareem Martin, who had a monster day with three tackles for loss and a sack. Bringing this group down is the offensive line, who had some really bad penalties Saturday. Midway through the fourth quarter, a nice AJ Blue run was brought back after a holding penalty called on center Russell Bodine. It wasn’t his first infraction on the day either. UNC has to eliminate the penalties, but had some positives in strong pass rush and pass protection.
Linebackers and Secondaries
How about the day that Travis Hughes had for himself. The veteran linebacker recorded 12 tackles to lead the defense, including 1.5 for loss. Jabari Price and Tre Boston each added in 10 tackles as well. This group looked strong against the run and the pass today, and showed great improvement from earlier in the season. The cherry on top was two interceptions, by Tim Scott and Brian Walker.
Special Teams and Coaching
You hate to see a missed field goal and missed extra point by your kicker. That extra point was extra bad because it put State right back in the game, allowing them to be down just eight points and tie it up with one score. But give credit to UNC for not biting on the fake punt attempt and to Tommy Hibbert for some beautiful punts inside the Pack’s ten yard line. Also, Larry Fedora called a good game, handling the quarterbacks well and dialing up a nice WR pass gadget play, which swung the momentum in the game.