2017 ACC Football: Coastal Division Power Rankings week 6

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CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 07: Anthony Ratliff-Williams
CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 07: Anthony Ratliff-Williams /


For a recap of the game against Notre Dame click here.

Is there really a better word out there that could describe the Tar Heels of late? The team is literally breaking down on multiple levels.

First, there is the physical side. The Tar Heels are just wearing down. They have already suffered 13 season ending injuries, and had two players not finish the game against the Irish. College football teams may have depth, but even the best of teams can’t survive losses like this.

This will continue to lead to breakdowns as more pressure is put on fewer players, without rotation, which in turn will lead to more injuries.

Secondly, the defense is breaking down. The Tar Heels are allowing 470 yards and 33 points per game. Those rank 115th and 102nd respectively, in the nation. However, the defense has not been the problem early in games. They are getting stops.

Unfortunately, the offense is not moving the ball and the defense is playing a lot. This would even wear down NFL defenses, and is leading to huge second halves for other teams.

Take into consideration that Georgia Tech and Notre Dame combined to score 63.6 percent of their points and accumulate 54.3 percent of their yards in the second half of the past two games.

Finally, the offense has also been breaking down. After averaging 432 yards and 36 points per game for the first four games, the offense is down to 512 yards and 17 points in their past two contests, combined.

A lot of this has fallen on the young arm of quarterback Chazz Surratt, who has also seen a breakdown. Surratt has regressed from completing 64.2 percent of his passes in the first four games to 57.3 percent in the pass two.

He has also seen his average yard per attempt drop from 9.2 in his first four contests to 4.5 in the past two. As he would so succinctly put it after the latest loss to the Irish, “I don’t know how you fix this.”

Yeah neither do I, Chazz. Of course, one could also blame a lot of Surratt’s issues on a broken line that isn’t blocking and a receiving corp that is down its top three receivers.

Toss in the mental breakdowns from the coaching staff and this is looking like a long season. The problem is that the season will only look longer as the team is just now getting into the meat of the schedule.

Next up for the Tar Heels is their fifth home game of the season. UNC is currently 0-4 at home and will be facing a Virginia team that is looking far better in Bronco Mendenhall’s second season.