North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Virginia Cavaliers: Keys to Victory

Sep 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back David Sims (20) moves past North Carolina Tar Heels safety Tre Boston (10) for a touchdown in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back David Sims (20) moves past North Carolina Tar Heels safety Tre Boston (10) for a touchdown in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

UNC takes on Virginia this Saturday in an important conference battle for both teams. UNC will be without senior quarterback Bryn Renner against the Cavs, and this game marks the start of the Marquise Williams era at UNC. His performance these next four games will go a long way in the decision making for next season’s starting quarterback competition. Here are some keys to victory for UNC against UVA.

Limiting Big Plays
In all of North Carolina’s losses this season, the defense gave up big plays to the other team. A key to victory for the Virginia game is not giving up any of those big plays and resulting touchdowns to the other team. The last two games, UNC has defensively been very good at limiting the big play for the other team. The secondary has tightened up and the number of missed tackles have decreased. Its no mistake that because of the better defensive effort, UNC has won the last two games. Limiting big plays is a big key to victory on Saturday.

Feed the playmakers
With a new quarterback starting in Marquise Williams, UNC’s coaching staff needs to make the game as easy as possible for Marquise. One way to do so would be calling plays that put the ball in the playmaker’s hands. Eric Ebron, TJ Logan and Quinshad Davis all need to get a lot of targets and touches on Saturday because they all have the ability to change the game with just one play. Two other breakout playmakers this year are Ryan Switzer and Bug Howard, two freshman who have each stepped up big time this season. A key to victory over Virginia is feeding these five playmakers the ball and letting them carry this team on offense.

Getting Marquise in rhythm
Look for UNC to dial up a lot of execution throws early in the game to try and get Marquise Williams in some rhythm as the starting quarterback. Bubble screens, quick passes over the middle, and in general shorter throws will all be utilized early for the Tar Heel offense to try and get Williams comfortable in the pocket. Getting Marquise in sync with his receivers early will be a big key to the game.

Win the turnover battle
UNC had two interceptions against the Wolfpack last weekend, and each one of them came at critical points in the content. UNC has to win the turnover battle if they want the easiest shot at victory Saturday. The worst case scenario is Marquise Williams throws an interception or two, and the defense struggles to create turnovers for the offense. The best case scenario is a positive turnover margin and turnovers created by the defense to support their new quarterback Marquise Williams.

Topics: FanSided, Football, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Cavaliers

Want more from Keeping It Heel?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

Comments are closed.