North Carolina On Offense:
Heading into the 2006 season this looked like it would be an interesting game. Despite a 5-6 record in 2005, North Carolina lost a number of close games to solid competition. Somewhere the wheels feel off for the Tar Heels and head coach John Bunting. North Carolina will limp into Notre Dame Stadium with a 1-7 record and a lame duck coach. Their lone victory came against I-AA Furman 45-42.
It's difficult to point to one specific area that has caused the Tar Heels to struggle, but turnovers have been a major issue. They have suffered 22 turnovers on offense while only snatching eight on defense. The offense has also struggled to consistently move the ball, averaging 3.6 yards per rushing attempt and completing 49.8 percent of their passes.
Bunting has tried two quarterbacks this season. Joe Daily started the first two game of the season, but he was eventually replaced by red-shirt freshman Cam Sexton. Daily has the better completion percentage, but he has struggled to keep the ball out of defenders hands.
Anticipated Depth Chart.
Notre Dame could see either quarterback this weekend. Both players have struggled to direct the North Carolina offense. Daily started his career at Nebraska. Daily had trouble with interceptions at Nebraska. Both quarterbacks are fairly mobile, although Sexton is probably a little more dangerous outside the pocket.
Neither quarterback has a big-time arm.
McGill is one of the all-time leading rushers in Carolina history, but if the offense line can't create holes, he'll be hard pressed to gain yardage against the Irish.
Barrington Edwards missed the Wake Forrest game due to a suspension. He could be back this weekend. Justin Warren is a former walk-on, so if Edwards is availible, he will be in before Warren.
North Carolina doesn't use the full back as an offensive weapon.
Holley is probably the best receiver of the bunch. He has big play ability, but if the quarterbacks can't get him the ball, he can't make plays. The other players are very young and have been inconsistent.
The line has done a decent job of protecting the quarterbacks, but they haven't done a very good job of opening holes for the running backs. Chacos and Gray have solid experience, but it seems like North Carolina likes to run to the right side more often than the left.
North Carolina On Defense:
The numbers don't lie for this group. The North Carolina defense is at the bottom of nearly every defensive category. The reason? They just aren't making plays. The defensive front is thin and doesn't get into the backfield. The defensive backs aren't in position to create turnovers. This all adds up to surrendering over 32 points per game.
Anticipated Depth Chart.
The troubles for this unit start with giving up 205 yards rushing per contest. To add to the troubles, they don't get in the backfield and create negative plays. Six sacks by your starting front just isn't enough and they don't have many tackles for loss.
Senior and 4-year starter, Larry Edwards was lost for the season. He was the one player that was stepping up. This group has some experience. Worsely has size, but limited mobility. Mapp is a solid athlete that can cover.
This unit has really struggled to make plays. They have one
interception on the season. The tackle totals of this unit tell you that they
are probably concerned about runners breaking through the front seven. The
defensive front hasn't done the secondary any favors by not getting to the
Preview: Notre Dame vs North Carolina
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