North Carolina Stomping Through ACC

kenBy: Kenneth Harrison Jr. news services

The ACC has been dominated by the Atlantic Division for the last six years. No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Louisville and No. 12 Florida State are the marquee programs in the conference.

Can a Coastal Division team win the conference championship for the first time since 2009?

No. 21 North Carolina (6-2) appears to be the team most likely to reach the conference championship game for the second consecutive year. The Tar Heels are currently first in the division with a record of 4-1.

They got destroyed at home by Virginia Tech 34-3 earlier this month. They played one more conference game than the Hokies which is why they’re on top of the division. They bounced back with road wins against Miami and Virginia. They beat UVA thoroughly 35-14 on Saturday.

“The defense played lights out,” quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. “They played a really great game. The second half we had a little bit better tempo and we were moving them. We converted some more third downs and we got some more rhythm.”

Trubisky has not played well in the two loses to Georgia and Va Tech but he’s an elite QB. He ranks 7th in the country in passing yards with 2,378 and he completes an amazing 71.2% of his passes. He’s also thrown 18 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.

They also have a good running game led by Elijah Hood with 476 yards, 5 td’s and a 5-yards per carry average. T.J. Logan has 470 yards, 6 TD’s and 6.3 YPC.

Ryan Switzer has the most receptions on the team with 66 for 678 yards. Bug Howard is second with 36 catches and 538 yards.

The Tar Heels rank 21st nationally in total offense with 438 yards per game and 32.5 points per game. The defense on the other hand is surprisingly bad. They rank 88th in the country in total defense allowing 397 ypg and 27 ppg.

They have to improve if they hope to win their remaining games. With a defense that bad opponents always have a chance to beat them.

UNC has a bye this week then they return to action November 5th at home against Georgia Tech. The Heels have won the last two meetings in the series.

Tech is struggling and their just 1-3 in the ACC and finished 1-7 last season. It’s tough to prepare against their option attack but they are one of the least talented teams in the conference. This should be a double-digit win.

They have a short week and a Thursday night road game at rival Duke November 10th. The Blue Devils are currently winless in conference play with a record of 0-3. They lost by two touchdowns to Virginia so they are pretty bad. This is an easy win.

The following game is home against The Citadel, an FCS team. This will be a blow out win and a chance to pad stats.

The season finale is at home against in-state rival North Carolina State. NC State is a pretty solid team. They came very close to beating Clemson on the road and the defense was able to stifle the Tigers offense. They did get obliterated in their last game against Louisville, 54-13. I’m not sure which Wolf Pack team will show up but I anticipate they’ll be motivated in a rivalry game.

If the Tar Heels win out they’ll have a good chance to play in the championship game as long as Va Tech loses another game. They only lost by 8 points last year against Clemson so they match up well.



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