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Heel Tough Blog: Trench Report - Boston College

It wasn’t as pretty as it could’ve been, but Carolina escaped Boston College, with a 26-22 win on Saturday, to improve to 2-0 on the 2020 season. The offense looked a lot like it did against Syracuse, finding it hard to sustain drives, and make big plays in the passing game. Defensively, Carolina was solid, but an aggressive game plan allowed too many one on one coverages for a secondary without Myles Wolfolk. In the end though, the Tar Heels made enough of the plays necessary to win a road game in the ACC, as they continue to prove the belong among the top contenders in the conference. But if they want to be taken as a serious contender, they’ll need improved play at the line of scrimmage. Here’s how the Tar Heels fared up front on Saturday:

Michael Dwyer - AP

Offensive Line:

Leading up to game time, the belief was that Joshua Ezeudu would be available to play at the left guard position, unfortunately he wasn’t able to go, and the Tar Heel offense suffered because of it. Phil Longo feels confident when running to the right side of the offensive line, and rightfully so as they’ve held their own. But you can’t always do that, as it’ll become predictable and better teams in the ACC will take it away. The pass protection is also much better on the right side of the line, and while you can blame some of the sacks on Sam Howell, they still didn’t give him enough time consistently to make plays in the passing game. Penalties also plagued this group once again, which was another reason as to why they weren’t able to be in a consistent rhythm on offense. Ed Montilus and Asim Richards are a problem right now for Carolina, and not in a good way. Despite Carolina rushing for 176 yards, the play of the offensive line is holding this offense back at the moment. They are going to need a better performance this week against Virginia Tech, with or with Ezeudu if they hope to remain undefeated.

Defensive Line:

While it wasn’t the performance that it was against Syracuse to begin the season, it was another rather impressive effort from the defensive line on Saturday. Boston College had issues running the football entering this game, and those issues continued as they only mustered 40 yards on 19 carries. Add in 3 sacks of Phil Jurkovec and you could say that this position group dominated the game. Tomon Fox had a big game, recording 6 total tackles, 1 sack, and 2.5 tackles for loss. His brother Tomari Fox also impacted the game in a positive way, recording 4 total tackles, with one being for a loss. Raymond Vohasek also got in on the action, recording 3 tackles himself. There were a lot of questions about how Carolina would replace Aaron Crawford and Jason Strowbridge and so far they appear as if they have some answers. One thing to note is that Carolina is much more physical at the point of attack, and they’ve been able to impose their will on the opposition. This week will be a much different task, as Virginia Tech comes to Chapel Hill, but there’s no reason to believe this defense can’t perform at a high level once again.

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