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UNC vs. GT Preview

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September 26, 2009

12:00 pm

Bobby Dodd Stadium

Atlanta, GA

#22 ranked North Carolina will be coming into Atlanta looking to snap it's 5 game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets in Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. The Heels are coming inot the game as one of the nation's leading rushing defensive teams ranked 7th to be exact, and a complete understanding on how to stop Georgia Tech's prized Triple Option offense with their 28-7 shutdown of the Yellow Jackets last season in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina is 3-0 on the season for the first time since the 1997 season, and are facing the challenge of 4-0 being a 3 point underdog to Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels have completed dominated opponents on defense and have held all 3 teams to under 20 points and less than 2.0 yards per carry in regards to rushing.

Georgia Tech is coming into this game ranked inside the top 20 in rushing yards in the nation, with 247.7 yards per game.

"It certainly is one of the things you talk to your football team about - option responsibility," Carolina's coach Butch Davis said. "You're going to see it over the course of the season so you have to spend some time on it. We are fortunate that we've got some experience on defense that hopefully they'll remember some of the lessons they learned last year."

Jonathon Dwyer might not be at 100%, and has not looked like the same tailback as last year yet during the 2009 season. He injured his shoulder in last week's meeting they had with Miami which they lost 33-17. He did say that he was able to do pretty much everything in practice throughout the week.

North Carolina's offense took a step in the right direction last week with their offense, tallying up 400+ yards in their victory over ECU, thanks to bug plays by Freshamn tightend Erik Highsmith. Highsmith became the first Freshman since Hakeem Nicks to hit the 100 yard receiving in a single game mark.

"We know they can move the ball," Tar Heels defensive tackle Marvin Austin said. "They just had to get in a rhythm and go out and execute. I'm glad they've got that thing rolling now. It's going to help us on defense. We can pin our ears back and go get 'em now."

The Yellow Jackets have dominated the series as of late against North Carolina winning 9 out of the last 11 games they have faced, bringing the all time series up to 23-18 in favor of Georgia Tech.

The Tar Heels have not won at Bobby Dodd Stadium since 1997.

Key Players

UNC

Erik Highsmith: Can he keep the early success going this week?

TJ Yates: Can he keep the offense on the field by completing 3rd downs on more of a consistent basis?

Carolina's front 7: Can they stop the Triple Option and get to the QB on passing downs?

GT

Jonathon Dwyer: Will he finally have a breakout game to get him back on track to last year's success?

Josh Nesbitt: Can he finally get the passing game going if the running game is held down?

Crowd: How much effect will they have against North Carolina?

Matchup

UNC

Net Passing Yds: 632

Passing Yds/Game: 210.7

Completions Pct.: 66.3

Rushing Yds: 444

Rushing Yds/Game: 148.0

Rushing Avg: 3.7

GT

Net Passing Yds: 412

Passing Yds/Game: 137.3

Completions Pct: 40.5

Rushing Yds: 731

Rushing Yds/Game: 243.7

Rushing Avg: 5.3

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Posted · Report post

Gonna be a tough game. Trying not to be too optimistic.

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I feel a lot better about this game, knowing that just about every Tar Heel defensive starter has faced that offense before. I'm not taking anything for granted though. I didn't believe that Uconn and ECU were gonna be easy, and I definitely feel the same way about GT. I don't think they deserved to fall as far as they did after getting beaten by a Miami team that had 10 days to prepare. This time GT has had the extra preparation time, and that worries me a little.

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Posted · Report post

Let's go HEELS!!!

I am feeling pretty good about this one, we shut Dwyer down last year and we will do it again this year.

UNC 13-7

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Let's go HEELS!!!

I am feeling pretty good about this one, we shut Dwyer down last year and we will do it again this year.

UNC 13-7

If you guys hold GaTech to 7 points AT HOME then that will be impressive. Tech is going to score at least 20 IMO. They played terribly against a team that is just as talented on defense (Miami) and scored 17 points as an away team.

If you guys were playing at home I'd pick you guys but its a road game so I'm going with the home team.

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I will probably never be completely confident about any game this season just because of how thin UNC's O-line is this year, but if they can get a win this week, they might just be able to get a couple of those baby O-linemen some playing time in the next two games against Virginia and Ga. Southern. That would help a lot going forward.

I am very confident in Carolina's defense though. Remember, Miami's new DC (Lovett) was a Tar Heel last year, so he learned to defend that triple option under Butch Davis.

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Fug Espn360.

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Posted · Report post

GT wins this one easily, they look way too hungry.

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From what I have seen, thanks 360, we are going to get blown out.

I don't get why Boyd didn't catch that ball.

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Posted · Report post

this offense is a f'n joke, GT has one of the worst defenses in the ACC and carolina is making them look like a bunch of All Americans

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Both teams have missed opportunities, but GT has had more of them. We can still come back in the second half.

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Casey Barth is really starting to piss me off. That's the 3rd easy FG he's missed already.

BTW, I think they have a trained monkey operating the clock. That problem started well before that last GT posession...I noticed on one of Draughn's runs, he went out of bounds and the clock never stopped then either. The officials should have caught it then.

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