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UNC vs. ECU Preview


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#1 Tweeder

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:03 PM

September 19, 2009

Chapel Hill, NC
Kenan Memorial Stadium
12:00 pm

ECU was NCAA cinderella team of last year after upsetting both top 20 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies and West Virginia Mountaineers at the start of the year. This year has not had the same magic. The Pirates are 1-1 on the year with a win against Appalachian St. which they had to hold off the comeback after leading most of the game by 20 points. App St started making a comeback in the 4th by scoring 17 unanswered points against the Pirates, but fell short 29-24.

ECU is coming off of a humbling loss to West Virginia, as they gave up 500+ yards, 334 of them coming in the air. The Pirates come into Chapel Hill with hopes of taking another win away from the Tar Heels. The last time these two teams met, ECU hit a game winning field goal at the end of the game to beat Carolina 34-31 in Greenville 2 years ago.

Skip Holtz has the Pirates on a 3 year winning seasons, and is probably going on 4 years after this season. Skip Holtz feels like even though his defense gave up 500+ yards last week, that will be an uncommon occurance. ECU prides themselves by their dominating defense, and leading the way is monster defensive end CJ Wilson.

On offense you still see familiar faces, most recognized quarterback Patrick Pinkney, who was fortunate that the NCAA granted abother year of eligibility. There one weakness of last season was their offense, and early this season it seems to be the same problem.

Runningbacks Brandon Simons and Norman Whitely are gone, and the Pirates are looking for the runningback that will contribute the most for this team.


The Heels come back home after facing a scare by the hands of Conneticut last Saturday, prevailing 12-10 from a safety late in the 4th quarter.

Carolina had to rely on it's defense to stop the Huskies from putting the game out of reach, and then found their offense late in the 2nd half.

The Tar Heels hope to get revenge on ECU for the last econd win 2 years ago, and will try to find their running game early against the Pirates to help take pressure of of Yates and the young recieving corp.

The defense will be just as tough and consistent as in the past 2 weeks limiting the inconsistent running game of ECU, and disrupt the play of quarterback Patrick Pinkney.

If Carolina can find it's offense in this game, their defense should hold ECU to a low score and make of an easier win for the Tar Heels. If they cannot get their offense going like last week expect another low scoring defensive battle with the game going until the 4th quarter or beyond.

Key Players

UNC

Shaun Draughn - Needs to find that rushing attack he had at the end of last year. He was held to only 21 yards rushing against UConn.

Deunta Williams - Should have plently of opportunities to make plays, especially if ECU cannot get their running game going.

Defensive Line/LBs - See what type of pressure they can get in the backfield against a team with an experienced offensive line.

Eric Highsmith - Yates has already shown besides Greg Little his favorite targets has been Zach Pinalto. If Pinalto cannot go, can the freshman pick up the slack without him on the field?

ECU

Patrick Pinkey - Will be pressured most of the day, especially if his runningbacks cannot get going. Will he be able to make the big plays need?

Runningbacks - They will have to get something going to give the opportunity for Pinkney to make plays.

CJ Wilson - Should have a field day with Carolina's offensive line banged up. How much of an impact will he have on the rest of the defense?

Prediction

UNC - 17
ECU - 10

#2 monstercat

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:27 PM

It's gonna be tough to get the running game back on track without Pianalto, the starting center, and probably the starting LG as well. It's amazing how these injuries are happening at the positions where they can least afford it.

Oh well, at least Cam Holland and Greg Ellerby both have one start apiece now. I guess that's something.

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:48 PM

Tarheels Win Big.:smile:

#4 unicar15

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:34 PM

Neither team has a lot of offensive fire power. I'm saying 17-13 UNC with one of the TDs coming from the defense..

#5 17+89=6

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:30 PM

I go to ECU and I personally say 24-20 UNC wins. I like what Skip Holtz has done with the program, but to me he is the John Fox of college football. Run the ball and protect the lead. ECU goes up early, but falls behind late.

#6 tarheelblue89

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:43 PM

24-7 UNC.

I want a blow-out. I want to put the ACC on notice and all the "experts" who are not talking about us in the Coastal.

#7 unicar15

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:32 PM

24-7 UNC.

I want a blow-out. I want to put the ACC on notice and all the "experts" who are not talking about us in the Coastal.


You must not watch a lot of TV. When asked who he thought could win the national championship who is currently ranked outside the top 20, Mark May said North Carolina.

I don't think a "lack of respect" is something that UNC has to worry about. The fact that they aren't unequivocally backing you to win the division is more a result that GaTech and Miami are both stacked this year...

#8 Htar

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:36 PM

The Heels will get it together offensively. THey have a good defense right now, though.

#9 tarheelblue89

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:44 PM

I didn't see that, sorry.

Stacked?? I don't think any team in the ACC is stacked. I think They both got QB problems, Nesbitt isn't even a Quarterback IMO all he does is run the ball (32 Rushing Atts - 25 Pass Atts).

Not quite sure why I said they both had QB problems, Harris is a stud.

Miami is quite good.

#10 monstercat

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 03:41 PM

The Heels will get it together offensively. THey have a good defense right now, though.


I believe they will too, if the O-line holds up, that is. I don't know exactly what to expect in this particular game, but they should get Dwight Jones back next week and Erik Highsmith looks more like a junior than a true freshman so far, so I expect the passing game to get better.

And for the record...ECU is not an easy game at all. They hate us and want to destroy us just like NC State does, so you can throw records and rankings right out the window this week.

#11 unicar15

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:43 PM

I didn't see that, sorry.

Stacked?? I don't think any team in the ACC is stacked. I think They both got QB problems, Nesbitt isn't even a Quarterback IMO all he does is run the ball (32 Rushing Atts - 25 Pass Atts).

Not quite sure why I said they both had QB problems, Harris is a stud.

Miami is quite good.


Jacory Harris IMO had a softball thrown at him in the FSU game and I admit that Nesbitt is mediocre at best. But all other positions for both teams are approaching NFL level talent.

GaTech doesn't need a stud under center with the offense they run and their defense being as stout as they are.

#12 Tweeder

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:37 PM

I believe they will too, if the O-line holds up, that is. I don't know exactly what to expect in this particular game, but they should get Dwight Jones back next week and Erik Highsmith looks more like a junior than a true freshman so far, so I expect the passing game to get better.

And for the record...ECU is not an easy game at all. They hate us and want to destroy us just like NC State does, so you can throw records and rankings right out the window this week.


and they still have CJ Wilson, against the banged up line, he is probably drooling thinking about it right now

#13 goodlay

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:50 PM

I'll be rooting for the Pirates like always, but I don't think they'll be able to get it done. Should be a pretty good game though.

#14 Tweeder

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:23 AM

Wilson is already showing his dominance on the oline :(

#15 5158Poundin

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:41 AM

I am pulling for my Pirates of course but honestly do not know what to expect this season. I am not seeing the offensive firepower I am used to so....no predictions, just want to see a great game!

GO PIRATES


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