Sept. 7, North Carolina, 8:00pm.
Opponent: UNC (0-1)
Brief Summary: UNC lost 27-21 to Miami Ohio. UNC's defense allowed Cal Murray to rushed for 101 yards on just 23 carries, possibly because UNC only controlled the ball for just under 22 minutes the entire game.
UNC Players to watch:
Anyone who paid attention to UNC's opener against Miami of Ohio got a chance to see some sloppy football. North Carolina QB Darian Durant was responsible for an unprecedented six turnovers and with any QB having a week to think about what happened, the Syracuse defense might actually live up to preseason expectations. With a packed Dome and a confidence-deprived offense, Durant's leadership will undoubtedly be showcased.
Tackle turned defensive end Will Chapman was one of the lone bright spots for the Tar Heels. He's a quick player and will have his way with the Syracuse option if R.J. Anderson isn't careful.
Rarely does anyone hear about offensive linemen, and when they do, it's never anything good. Case and point: Jason Brown. A sophomore starting in his first game, the exchange between Brown and Durant was the reason for a few of the nine turnovers.
Brief Summary: An ugly loss to BYU that included BYU marching for 615 yards and 31 first downs resulted in a 42-21 loss. Of course, UNC doesn't seem to have the high octane offense that BYU did.
Syracuse Players to watch:
Damien Rhodes: Certainly noteworthy in his start, Rhodes converted 14 carries for 82 yards and looked comfortable doing it. It only looks more impressive given Syracuse's revamped offensive line returning only one starter from last year.
R.J. Anderson: Arguably the most important play on the offense, Anderson needs to play much better than 8-for-24 and a measly 128 yards. He looked stiff on the option and threw a bunch of shanks to his receiver core. While head coach Pasqualoni shouldn't make too big of a deal, maybe Troy Nunes could be on the field soon.
Clifton Smith: Preseason allocates had Smith pegged as an All-American hopeful. Cramps against BYU made Smith look like a ghost of his former self if he doesn't want his team to fall to 0-2.
Prediction: Syracuse is in the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome and UNC is reeling from the depths of inexperience. The Pick: Orangemen by 3.
Syracuse Gamer: UNC
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