Heel Tough Blog: Ashtin's Analysis - Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech strolled into UNC Saturday to play the Tar Heels with both teams looking for their first ACC win of the year. UNC said, “not so fast my friends,” and dominated the Hokies, winning 41-10 at Kenan Stadium. UNC looked very impressive on both sides of the ball as they gained 527 yards and only gave up 273 yards to the Hokie offense.
UNC started the game with a quick first down but Virginia Tech answered with a stop. VT played great coverage and QB Drake Maye was forced to scramble on several occasions on the drive. Maye struggled early, starting 0-3 pass attempts, but soon settled down and would finish the game with a total of 26-33 pass attempts with 3 touchdowns. UNC gave up a field goal to VT on their opening possession but would answer with 21 straight points from the offense, two passing, and one rushing for Maye. The Hokies then had what would be their best drive of the day, scoring a touchdown on a 14-play, 69-yard drive that was capped with a 2-yard run by QB Grant Wells for a score. UNC had 28 seconds to answer, and the answer they did, taking four quick pass plays that got them down to the Virginia Tech 27, which would allow Noah Burnette to kick a field goal. Halftime score: 24-10.
The second half was dominated by the UNC defense as the Hokies never once got the ball into the UNC red zone in the second half. This kind of breakthrough performance that Gene Chizik has said can go a long way toward improving this defense. UNC had a 17-point third quarter that did have one scary moment for UNC fans. On a second and nine at the Virginia Tech ten-yard line, Maye scrambled to his right and attempted to hurdle a defender. He fell down hard and was on the ground for about a minute, which was most likely the longest minute in recent history for fans. He would then get to his feet and jog off, receiving huge cheers from the UNC faithful. Maye talked about his hurdle in his post-game press conference saying that he, “has to be smarter.” Mack Brown clearly wants him to do just that, he was visibly frustrated at the young QB as he jogged off.
UNC got the convincing win on Saturday over VT and moves to 4-1 on the young season. Here are a few takeaways from UNC’s victory.
1. UNC’s Defense Finally Showed Up:
Carolina fans were finally given something to cheer about when the defense took the field. This was the VT stat line, 273 yards, 99 rushing yards, 174 passing yards, and 3.9 avg yards per play. “They finally showed confidence,” said Coach Brown after the game. They were constantly in the backfield creating pressure on QB Grant Wells. And the secondary played their best game yet. Impressive to say the least.
2. Drake Maye is Playing Like One of the Best QBs in the ACC:
Another game, another impressive stat line for Drake Maye; 72% completion, 363 yards, 3 touchdowns, and most importantly, no turnovers. UNC has placed belief in their young QB, and so far, Maye has delivered.
3. UNC Looked Like a True Coastal Contender:
The Hokies might not be the best measuring stick as they were expected to finish toward the bottom of the ACC Coastal division this year. UNC’s true test will likely be next week at Miami, a team in desperate need of a win coming off of an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee.
UNC gave us a win this week but faces the most important game to date Saturday when they travel to Miami to play the Hurricanes. The Tar Heel Nation wants a win! Will the Heels come out with the same passion as this past Saturday? I believe they will, they have found their groove and continue to improve each game.