Joe Ovies

Talking points: Heels in the Coastal mix

Posted October 13, 2012

1. It was a pleasant homecoming for Giovani Bernard, who attended St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale before signing on with North Carolina. He provided the biggest mismatch against Miami's defense, which had given up 600 yards on the ground against NC State and Notre Dame.  

Bernard cruised for 177 yards on 27 carries and notched two touchdowns. He averaged nearly 7 yards per carry and kept the clock running in later drives. 

Despite Bernard having missed 2 full games this season due to injury, he finds himself near the top of the ACC rushing standings with 652 yards.

2. Many predicted North Carolina and Miami to be a back-and-forth high scoring affair and it could have been had it not been for empty drives deep into the opposition's territory. The Tar Heels only came away with 15 points after four trips in the first half. 

With 5:50 left in the 1st quarter, Bryn Renner's forced pass inside the 10-yard-line resulted in an interception. Early in the 2nd quarter, Casey Barth missed a 33-yard field goal. 

Both teams couldn't convert on crucial 3rd downs, going a combined 11-for-30. The Hurricanes also went 2-for-5 on 4th downs. Neither team scored in the 4th quarter. 

3. North Carolina pulled off a two-point conversion after Bernard's second touchdown, pushing the Tar Heels out to a 15-7 lead before halftime. It was a surprising decision considering the low-scoring affair, but the 2-point conversion ultimately proved to be the smart play. Miami needed a touchdown to win at the end of regulation instead of having the option to tie the game with a field goal. 

4. An ineffective day for Stephen Morris came to an end in the 4th quarter when the Miami QB suffered an ankle injury. Morris completed just 12 of 26 passes for 155 yards and was intercepted twice by North Carolina. 

5. For the second consecutive week the Tar Heels have had 15 penalties. It figures a team would make North Carolina pay for their careless mistakes, yet Virginia Tech and Miami failed to fully cash in on the flubs.

Feel free to play the other version of the "what if" game and consider what the Tar Heels could be capable of should they put together a flawless game. 

6. In case you hadn't heard, North Carolina is ineligible to win the Coastal Division or participate in the ACC Championship game. Larry Fedora has repeatedly said it doesn't mean a darn thing and the team's stated goal is to take the division even if it won't be officially recognized.

The Tar Heels are currently 2-1 in the conference and in prime position to do just that. The rest of their slate doesn't look daunting. Duke, NC State, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Maryland should all be considered winnable or at the very least a toss-up.

10 Comments

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  • tlesley4ncsu Oct 16, 2012

    They are talented and they are loose. No pressure on the Heels makes them awfully dangerous.

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 16, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Exactly correct. The NCAA did a dismal job in a one year Bowl ban too. Some received 4 years for lessor offenses.

  • NCSU84 Oct 16, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Not really, just remind you that you won the coastal, but could not go to the title game. Yup, put up the banne!

  • NCSU84 Oct 16, 2012

    Let UNC win the coastal does not mean squat as they can't go to the title game or to a bowl game. UNC can set up a banner in the blue zone for their accomplishment.

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 15, 2012

    UNC has done the job this year thus far. If they could play WF again, it could be a different story. They are in great position right now. The thing is that they have improved in all phases. The only thing is having too many penalties. They won in spite of this against Miami. If VT could play Clemson like 3 quarters agains tDuke, we should win. This was the only game that Logan Thomas had a complete game.

  • trueblue0100 Oct 15, 2012

    View quoted thread


    No, but they will win it anyway!

  • kmor2012 Oct 15, 2012

    are they eligible to win the Coastal?

  • tarheelgrad1998 Oct 15, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Good idea. I should totally do that.

    Oh, and we should put a banner in the football stadium. That will really burn your backside.

  • TheManKev Oct 15, 2012

    I'm sure some jackwagon Tar Heel will print up t-shirts if they faux win the Coastal.

  • StunGunn Oct 14, 2012

    While none of the remaining teams the Heels will face are "daunting", none will be easy wins either. Duke needs one more win to be bowl eligible, and its a home game for the Devils. State has won the last five in their series with Carolina, has beaten FSU, and will be playing with a lot of confidence. GT has always given the Heels fits for some reason. All this said, the Heels are a good team, and they can consider every remaining game their "bowl" game, which should provide ample motivation.

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