UNC Game Analysis: A Work in Progress

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Another ACC opener. And another ACC victory for the Hokies. But it was also
another game that left everyone asking a lot of questions, particularly about
the sputtering offense. After all, this was a young UNC team coming off a
lopsided loss at South Florida. (Don’t those guys have something nice brewing
down there in Tampa?).

It wasn’t quite that easy for the Hokies. Surviving a fourth quarter that was
totally dominated by the Tar Heels, the Hokies held on to escape with a hard
fought 17-10 victory. Once again, it was a good win, but it left everyone
feeling a bit uneasy, especially with a visit to Clemson looming on the horizon.

So, what did this game tell us? I watched the replay several times and picked
up on a few things, but there are still many areas that remain inconclusive
about this team. With most teams, five games are more than enough to get a good
read. That’s not the case with the 2007 Hokies. The decision to go with a true
freshman QB after two games created a system reset and the reboot cycle hasn’t
completed just yet.

Of course, most of the questions and concerns revolve around the offense, so
let’s begin the game analysis on that side of the ball.


To this point, everything has been a grind for the offense. We have seen
glimpses on a number of plays along the way, but for the most part the execution
has been far too inconsistent. The coaches continue to state that the offense is
getting closer and the players continue to say that everything clicks in
practice; they just have to carry it over to the games.

After analyzing the UNC game, I can understand why they feel that way.
Several plays had a chance to hit for big yardage and several others had a
chance to be successful, but there were always one or two things that got in the

The offense started off with a bang, using a bit of misdirection trickery to
get a big play on the reverse to Eddie Royal. That play was set up well and it
worked because UNC’s defensive ends had shown a tendency for aggressive pursuit
from the backside of the play. The Hokies wanted to get more out of their inside
running game, so they wanted to slow down that backside DE and force him to play
up the field — more containment and less backside pursuit.