UNC kept its win streak alive against Virginia this past weekend. UNC won the game 45-14 behind a strong performance from quarterback Marquise Wiliams. The Tar Heels now lead the all time series against Virginia 60-54-4. UNC has also won the last four meetings in the South’s oldest rivalry. I went back and watched some film from the game, and took some notes below on what stood out to me. Welcome to the UNC Football: Film Room!
-Virginia had a lot of momentum on their opening drive but a 5 men in the backfield penalty really killed their momentum and their drive. Speaking of all of those 5 men in the backfield penalties, I have never seen a game with so many of them called! It was an overall bad job of officiating by the ACC crew. Also, the crew had the replay booth review an intentional grounding call. Come on refs!
-UNC won the battle on third down the entire game. Marquise was very good on third and long using his feet to extend plays, and UNC’s defense held tough on third downs, often forcing the Cavs to punt. Success on third down was one of the major reasons why UNC won.
-Marquise had a very solid game on Saturday, but he did mess up a couple of screen passes in the first half. Those are very hard throws to make and require good timing and rhythm to know when and where to throw the ball. There will be more on screen passes in our Film Room Focus post tomorrow.
-Marquise Williams and Quinshad Davis showed off a strong connection between themselves this game. Williams went out of his way to target his big wideout, who in turn had a touchdown catch and a nice all around game. That same emphasis to feed Quinshad the ball now needs to be placed on feeding Eric Ebron the ball next week.
-In my opinion, Jabari Price is UNC’s most improved player from the start of the season. He has greatly improved in run and screen defense, attacking the rusher and beating blocks. Also, he is a good special teams player and leads his comrades as a senior. Great job by Jabari in turning around his personal performance in the second half of the season after an ugly first few games.
-If I could go back and redo my grades from Sunday, I would raise the Offensive and Defensive line’s grade. The D-Line dominated the line of scrimmage, relentlessly pressuring the quarterback and not letting him have time to throw. Also, the O-Line opened up some nice running lanes and blocked well in passing situations, giving Marquise plenty of time to throw.
-One thing Marquise Williams really needs to work on is the accuracy of his deep ball. Quise missed a couple of open receivers down field against UVA after underthrowing them or throwing it in a bad spot. He is accurate over the middle and is pretty good at making his execution throws, but must work on throwing the ball deep.
-Jeff Schoettmer impressed me on tape against UVA. He is always in the backfield making plays, and has a high motor from the linebacking position. He is a former walk-on and only a sophomore for the Tar Heels. I am expected big things from him as he gets more and more experience for UNC.
-One major advantage to having Marquise Williams in full time as quarterback is that it really helps the run game. I’m not talking about Marquise running the ball himself though.
With Marquise as QB, every run play turns into a read option/zone read run. I outlined this last week in Film Room Focus, but in this context this means that the defense has to assign a defender to watch Williams to make sure he doesn’t keep the ball himself. This creates more running room because their is one less defender paying full attention to the running back. There were many examples of UNC taking advantage of this concept against UVA.