The Countdown to Bowlmas will be a running series on Keeping It Heel leading up to the Belk Bowl on December 28th. The series will recap moments from the season in UNC football from Marquise Williams’s rise to Ryan Switzer’s amazing returns. We will even roll with the Christmas theme and center our recaps around verses from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Check back every morning for the daily countdown post, and use #Bowlmas to support the movement on Twitter.
Ryan Switzer developed into one of the top punt returners in the country this season right before the eyes of the Tar Heel faithful. Switz showed flashes in the early parts of the season, but really turned on the gas in the last half and propelled himself into many first and second team All-American ballots as a punt returner. However, some of those flashes were seen outside of the return game. There was a streak of games in the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech portion of the schedule where Switz had a touchdown called back on penalties each game. It took awhile, but finally Switz caught his first touchdown, and then he returned his first punt for a score, and then he threw his first touchdown against NC State.
Here is Switzer showing off his arm on one of Carolina’s many trick plays that they dialed up this season. This review post is really about some of the best trick plays from the season- don’t worry, Switz’s rise as a punt returner will be covered at length in a later post.
There is something especially cool about watching a trick play live. First of all, as the ball is snapped, you can usually sniff out something funny about the play. For example, in the play above, your internal warning signs go off in your head when Bryn Renner tosses the ball backwards to Ryan Switzer. Why did he pass it backwards? Was that suppose to happen?
Then you see the defense reacting in slow motion while the wide receiver slips past the defense into the green grass leading to the endzone. The ball sails through the air, past the unprepared defense into the hands of an awaiting receiver. Touchdown Carolina!
Those trick plays that UNC dialed up so often may end up playing a big part in the bowl game itself on December 28th. UNC has proven to be bold in its play calling, and for a majority of the times, the play has worked. So keep close watch on the Tar Heels offense in the Belk Bowl. Who knows? The game may come down to a funky trick play that swings the momentum in UNC’s favor.