Carolina lost an absolute heart breaker on Saturday, to the defending national champions, the Clemson Tigers. Entering the game as almost 30 point underdogs, the Heels took the nations best team 60 minutes. When Javonte Williams scored with over one minute left, Mack Brown opted to go for the 2, and ultimately the win, the game. A questionable play call, left the Tar Heels left short on the goal line, and a difficult home loss. A big reason why the Heels almost pulled off the biggest upset in school history? The play in the trenches. Here is your trench report from Clemson.
Entering the game, there were questions about the health of the line. Nick Polino is still sidelined, and Charlie Heck was questionable after missing the App State game. Heck toughed it out and suited up, which helped Carolina hold their own against a talented Clemson front. Sam Howell was sacked 3 times, but had time in the pocket at crucial times on the game. The Heels also rushed for 146 yards, as Michael Carter had 99 yards in 16 carries. As has been the case all weeks, the offensive line was more fresh in the 4th quarter, and on the late touchdown drive was able to push around the Tigers. The effort on Saturday should give the unit some confidence moving forward, as they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech,
As impressive as the offensive line was, you could make the argument that the Heels front was more impressive. Carolina made life hard on Trevor Lawrence, who never seemed to find a rhythm in the passing game. They only recorded one sack, but Lawrence had constant pressure in his face all game long. The Tigers also only ran for 125 yards, as Carolina kept Travis Etienne bottled up for most of the game. This was all done with Aaron Crawford not being a major factor, as he suffered an injury in the early stages. Same as with the offensive line, this performance should give these guys confidence moving forward, as their effort almost helped pull of the biggest win in school history. Next week the defensive line has a chance to have a breakout game, as Georgia Tech has struggled early under a new head coach.