Heel Tough Blog: Trench Report- Appalachian State
After winning the first two games of the 2019 season in dramatic fashion, UNC has now lost their last two games, ironically in dramatic fashion. The Heels couldn't overcome another slow start, as they fell to the Mountaineers 34-31. Here's the trench report for the App State loss:
The unit was without Nick Polino, and Charlie Heck and their absence was clearly felt. Without the line's two best players, Carolina had a difficult time controlling the line of scrimmage. Sam Howell was sacked 3 times, as it's becoming more difficult to keep the young signal caller upright for 60. When they did give him time, Howell was able to make good reads, and move the offense up and down the field. In the running game, Carolina rushed for 146 yards, on 40 attempts. That averages to 3.7 yards per carry, against a Group of 5 team, you'd like to see that number a bit higher. Nonetheless they helped spell Javonte Williams to 94 yards, and 5.9 yards per carry. This week figures to be the biggest test for the offensive line, as Carolina hosts the defending national champions, the Clemson Tigers. Clemson has as talented a defensive front in all of college football. It's going to take a group effort from the line, to not allow the Tigers to control the line of scrimmage.
Carolina was once again without Jason Strowbridge, whom Mack Brown has repeatedly called the best player on the defensive line. Aaron Crawford made his presence known, Crawford totaled 7 total tackles, 6 of them being solo. On the day, Carolina sacked the opponent twice, and the defensive line was a big part of why the Heels notched 7 tackles for loss. Overall though it was an uneven performance, as the defense tries to find consistency in a new scheme. Kind of like the offensive line, the defensive line faces a huge test when they host Clemson on Saturday. The Tigers offense features a solid line, maybe the best quarterback in the country, and a bevy of skill positions players. It's going to take a total group effort to give the undermanned Heels a chance on Saturday.