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Heel Tough Blog: Week 10 Stock Report

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

The Tar Heels received a much-needed boost of confidence when they put the brakes on a two-game skid on Saturday with a throttling of Campbell in Kenan Stadium. The hope is that this was just what this team needed to turn back into the team that started the season 6-0 starting this weekend in Kenan Stadium against Duke. Here’s a look at who’s trending up and down going into Saturday night.

Omarion Hampton

Hampton continued his outstanding level of play on Saturday despite a light workload. Hampton carried the ball just 15 times, his fewest since the Syracuse game, but turned it into 144 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdowns did a great job of displaying the speed and power elements of his game and why he is in the running to be a Doak Walker Award and ACC Player of the Year finalist.

Drake Maye

Maye, like Hampton, didn’t have nearly the workload that he normally does but was extremely efficient. He threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns on just 16 completions, with three of the touchdowns being 20+ yarders. With the results against Virginia and Georgia Tech, Maye is probably out of Heisman contention. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that he is having another amazing season and could have a shot to be ACC Player of the Year, as well.

Tez Walker

Walker may have had only two catches on Saturday, but they were two important ones. Like everyone else, his workload was a bit lighter, as he was targeted just three times but he turned them into two touchdowns. Seeing Walker back out there after spending the previous Saturday night in the hospital was a great story in and of itself, but this just continues what has been one of the best stories in all of college football this year.

Conner Harrell

Harrell got his first action at the college level on Saturday and showed that he is going to be a factor next year in the battle to replace Maye. The redshirt freshman quarterback completed all four of his passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, including an absolute dime on a 41-yard deep pass to Chris Culliver for the touchdown pass. He also showed his running ability with a 61-yard scamper where he hit a top speed of 21.1 mph, the sixth-fastest mark of any player in football this past week, according to Reel Analytics. What Harrell showed on Saturday is that he is more than capable of being the future of this team at quarterback.

Marcus Allen

It may have come against an FCS opponent, but this may very well have been the best game of Allen’s career. Not only did he pull down his first career interception on Saturday, but he also racked up three total tackles and allowed just one of his five targets to be caught. Allen has been up and down at times this season, but, for the most part, he has proven to be a reliable corner this season more often than not.

Bryson Nesbit

Nesbit has finally found his groove this season and put together his third straight productive game. He led the team in receiving for a second consecutive game, hauling in six of his eleven targets for 78 yards. With all of the issues that the Tar Heels have had with injuries so far this year, Nesbit has come up huge for the team in the last few games despite the results not being great.

Amare Campbell

Campbell saw the most snaps of his career so far on Saturday and looked really good in the process. In 28 snaps, he finished with three total tackles, including one tackle for loss and one sack. It’s hard to read too much into what someone does against an FCS opponent, but this was just another sign from Campbell that the linebacking corps is in good shape when Cedric Gray and/or Power Echols depart.

Tyler Thompson

Thompson saw action for just the second time this season and showed a lot of promise in his late reps. He was only on the field for 14 snaps, but he did a great job of shedding blocks and causing havoc in the backfield. He may have only registered one tackle, but this was an encouraging performance that shows he could be a big factor for the team in years to come.

Chris Culliver

Culliver found the endzone for the first time on Saturday in the most extensive snaps of his career to this point. He did a great job to win down the field and did a great job of hauling in a beautiful deep pass from Harrell for the touchdown. Again, it’s hard to put too much stock into what happens against an FCS team, but this was a glimpse into why the Tar Heels are so high on Culliver for the future.

Kedrick Bingley-Jones

Bingley-Jones got the chance to play the most extensive reps of his career so far on Saturday and looked really good. He registered two total tackles, including a tackle for loss and did a good job of shedding tackles, something that has not been easy for the interior of this defensive line this year. It feels like every time Bingley-Jones gets into the game, he makes an impact and with the struggles that the team has had to find consistency in that room, it’s a wonder why he isn’t getting more of a chance here.

Special Teams

This is the only group that is trending down coming out of this game, but it shouldn’t be surprising for this year’s group. Not only did the unit let up another big kick return, they also committed one of the most egregious errors of the Mack Brown era. With nine seconds remaining in the half, the staff opted to try to run the field goal unit onto the field instead of spiking the football to set up the kick. There was only one problem: the placekicker and holder didn’t seem to get the message and weren’t able to get on the field before time expired. This is a horrendous error that falls on both the coaching and players and it simply cannot happen moving forward. 


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