UNC vs San Diego State: Things to watch


After extinguishing the Liberty Flames in the season opener, the #21 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will now play host to the San Diego State Aztecs. On paper the Tar Heels are the better team however, the Aztecs can rack up the points in a hurry and that makes them a threat. This game has a chance to be one of the more entertaining contest of the season so here’s a few things to keep your eye on during this non-conference battle.

Marquise Williams

In the season opener Marquise wasn’t great but he had his moments. The junior duel threat was 19-29 passing the ball for 169 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Williams also ran for 52 yards and two more scores, basically picking up where he left off last season. With Marquise running the show the Carolina offense just operates at a higher level, and if he can clean up the turnovers they’ll be even better. I’m expecting a big game from this young man, which should not only propel his team to a victory but it should also help put an end to this “quarterback competition” that has seen Williams and Mitch Trubisky sharing snaps.

The Tar Heels Defense

The D was solid in the opener and they’ll have to be even better this week. Against Liberty, the Carolina defense created a mind blowing six turnovers – if they can get half of that amount it will likely result in a W. The pass defense was really good in week one and will have be so again because San Diego State loves to toss the ball around. UNC will need to get consistent pressure on the quarterback to disrupt the Aztecs high powered offense and to put playmakers like Norkeithus Otis in position where they can really reak havoc. The run defense has to tighten it up a little bit but the top priority of this unit should be slowing down the San Diego State passing game.

Ryan Switzer

We already know that Ryan is the best special teams player in the country however, his maturation as a wide receiver is something to watch not only in this game but throughout the season. Switzer was OK versus Liberty, catching a team high eight passes for 43 yards. As Ryan becomes more comfortable as a receiver his production will undoubtedly increase and Saturday could give us a glimpse of what could be. The Aztecs defense isn’t all that strong especially the secondary, so they’ll likely have to pay extra attention to Quinshad Davis and that should mean plenty of opportunities for Switzer and the other receivers . Ryan is a problem is space, therefore expect UNC to move him around to create favorable match-ups and that should result in a couple of big plays in the passing game.

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Will UNC get of to a fast start?

It’s not vital that the Heels get of to a quick start but it would certainly help. If Carolina comes out and hit the Aztecs in the mouth early it will set the tone for the game and send a signal to the visitors that this is going to be a long night. Scoring touchdowns early in this game would take some pressure of the defense and possibly make SDSU one dimensional. In my opinion the Tar Heels should come out throwing haymakers, they could overwhelm the Aztecs. Should UNC get off to a sluggish start, it could allow them to gain confidence and then we could be in for a barn burner.

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