Saturday September 12, 2009
#19 North Carolina will be traveling to Storrs, CT to face a team that will be looking to avenge their lopsided loss last year when they were upset by the Heels 38-12 at Chapel Hill.
UConn won a closer game than expected at Ohio last Saturday by rushing for over 200 yards, and holding them on defense to under 100 yards rushing and under 300 yards total offense.
The Huskies relied on their defense a lot last season, and this year they will have to most likely rely on them again throughout the season. The Huskies are bringing back a very seasoned linebacker squad (Scott Lutrus, Greg Lloyd and Lawrence Wilson), which help lead UConn to 6th overall in pass defense and 9th overall in total defense. They also lost two very key players in the secondary in Darius Butler and safety Dahna Deleston, while also losing star defensive end Cody Brown.
UConn has lost a lot of key players on their team, most notably RB Donald Brown, who last year rushed for 2,000+ yards and 18 TDs. They will look toward Jordan Todman who rushed for 157 yards and Andre Dixon who added 100 in a 23-16 road victory over Ohio last Saturday to fill the void that Brown left by jumping to the NFL early.
Zac Frazer looks to be Lorezen's replacement this season so far. He had 2 touchdown passes, but only put up a little over 100 yards passing with 4 turnovers, which were 3 interceptions and a fumble against Ohio. Fans might see a change at Quarterback in the Carolina game to Cody Endres if Frazer cannot some progression from last week.
North Carolina opened up their season in Chapel Hill against the Citadel, and had a nice performance on both sides of the ball. The Heels racked up 375 total yards, and 261 yards were on the ground, which has been the most productivity on the ground since the 2004 season. TJ Yates added 2 touchdown passes in the 40-6 route against the Citadel.
Butch Davis was very pleased with the offensive outcome in the game, but showed more pleasure with the stout defensive performance. The defense held the Bulldogs to only 30 yards rushing and under 200 total yards. They also forced 5 turnovers with 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles, Deunta Williams had 2 of the 3 interceptions.
"Some of these guys, now that they've got 18 to 20 to 25 games of starting, the picture isn't as big as it was last year or two years ago," Davis said regarding his starters on defense. "The game has slowed down a little bit more, and they have a lot more recognition."
Head to head matchup on paper has the two teams pretty evenly matched with being more rushing then passing, but the Heels have shown they are very fast with the front seven to stop the run, which seems to be UConn's bread and butter again. "There's not a lot of teams that's just going to be able to run the ball against our front seven," cornerback Deunta Williams stated. If the Huskies cannot get things going on the ground this will force them to put it in the air, and will be a tough job for the quarterback going against a team that has a quickness to get in the backfield and a ball hawk safety in Deunta Williams.
Last years meeting the defense prevailed with touchdowns scored off an interception return and a blocked punt, and this year again it looks like the defense will have the last word for which ever team wins.
This is the third meeting between these two teams, and Carolina leads the series 2-0.
Head to Head Matchup
114 Net Passing Yds
114.0 Passing Yds/Game
40.9 Completions Pct.
261 Rushing Yds
261.0 Rushing Yds/Game
5.9 Rushing Avg
127 Net Passing Yds
127.0 Passing Yds/Game
45.8 Completions Pct.
259 Rushing Yds
259.0 Rushing Yds/Game
5.3 Rushing Avg
Edited by Tweeder, 09 September 2009 - 08:02 AM.