North Carolina survived yet another crazy finish Saturday vs. Georgia State as the
two teams volleyed back and forth over the course of sixty minutes. The game started
off well for the Heels as Drake Maye and the offense got off to a hot start and led 21-3
toward the end of the second quarter. However, a late score by Georgia State made the
score at the half 21-10. Georgia State was able to create positive momentum going into
the second half and carried it into the second half with a quick score to open the half. All
of a sudden the Heels were faced with pressure. Drake Maye looked rattled for the
first time in his young career. The Heels could not get any kind of offense going.
Georgia State was on fire early in the second half as they scored 25 straight
points going back to when it was 21-3. This made the score 28-21. UNC, trailing for the
first time, responded with their best drive of the second half, with a four-play, 75-yard
drive to score late third quarter. Following a quick punt, UNC took it right
down the field and scored, creating the final score, 35-28. Omarion Hampton was a key
player during those two drives. Up to that point, Hampton had been contained to that
point but exploded with huge runs, including the 58 yd TD run to tie the game. Here are
a few takeaways from what I saw during that game.
1. The UNC Offense Looked Average:
Drake Maye, always so calm and collected, looked rattled by a Georgia State pass
rush that dumped him several times on Saturday. UNC struggled to get the run game
going and the offensive line could not get good solid protection for Maye. UNC was good early but got complacent, something Mack Brown has said they cannot do. While they did
get going again late, they need to stay consistent, especially with Notre Dame coming up
in two weeks.
2. The Defense Once Again Struggled:
There were improvements, but the defense once again could not stop the
opposing offense of Georgia State. They struggled with run defense as Georgia State
wore them down and rammed the ball down their stovepipe with 235 rushing yards. For
the UNC defense to improve, they need to stop the run better and play better downfield
coverage as Georgia State had several downfield pass completions as well.
3. The Secondary is Awful:
The Heels were expected to have one of the better secondary's in the ACC last
year, but injuries played a big role in their struggling. However, now that the Heels
secondary has also struggled this year, the Heels need to figure out what is wrong as
they have been beaten downfield and have had blown coverages, a very bad combo.
It has not been pretty, but the Heels are 3-0, they will take on the Notre Dame
Fighting Irish after a bye week.