Mark Thomas

Film Study: Devils, Heels, and Pack Week 2

Posted September 9, 2012
Updated September 10, 2012

Coach's always say, "the biggest improvement a team will make is from week 1 to week 2."  The reason being, you have game film of your players to help them correct technique and mistakes.  Coach's also get current game film of the opponent.  It makes it easier to set up a game plan.  The Triangle teams finished the weekend 1-2.  There were areas of improvement.  Just not as much as everyone would have liked.  Here's what I saw:

1.  NC State 10 - UCONN 7

Pack quarterback Mike Glennon was sacked 6 times and hurried 8 times.  The first reaction would be that the offensive line had a poor day.  In fact, that's probably the reaction of most media members that couldn't identify a jock if their life depended on it.  A quarterback gets sacked for a number of reasons.  A quarterback could have read the blitz improperly, a back could have missed a block, or the defense could be just really good at rushing the passer. It just so happens that the Pack found a way to include all of them in their game. The most glaring reason was UCONN’s defensive end Trevardo Williams. His speed caused problems all afternoon for left tackle Tyson Chandler who was making his first start. Glennon did what he needed to do to get the win. The most difficult part of the game for him was battling the wind with his down field passes. On the the other side of the ball, State made a vast improvement in the secondary. Sure they picked off 3 passes, but that wasn’t the biggest improvement. That came from cornerback David Amerson knocking away key passes by focusing on driving down on passes made in front of him. Safety Earl Wolff appeared to have injured his groin late in the game which will hurt the Pack. He is, by far, the best defensive player that NC State has on the field. They head into their first home game of the season 1-1.

2.  Wake Forest 28 - UNC 27

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora may want his offense to play faster, but football has what is called a "4 minute offense" for a reason.  When a team gets to the end of a game, they try to run off as much time as they can.  Fedora had no desire to do that even with a 6 point lead.  Wake Forest exposed the biggest problem North Carolina has, a weak secondary.  Tanner Price throws for a career best 327 yards.  The majority of them came down the stretch when the Carolina pass rush slowed down.  DT Sylvester Williams is still a beast.  The only thing that can stop him has 4 wheels and requires a drivers license.  Without RB Giovanni Bernard in the lineup, the Heels still have the ability to run the football because of the improved offensive line play. 

North Carolina now has a starting point for their secondary.  They really weren't tested at all against Elon.  The underneath crossing routes seem to be their biggest problem.  Since they are in nickle personnel every snap, their linebackers seem to over commit to the run.  Which leaves the middle of the field vulnerable to safeties trying to come up in coverage.  The University of Louisville is next up.  They run an almost identical offense to the Deacons.  Now it's time for that improvement. 

3.  Stanford 50 - Duke 13

Well, that stunk.  Last week against FIU, Duke made big special teams plays.  This week, Stanford was the one making the big special teams plays (76 yd punt return for a TD).  Last week against FIU, Duke was able to run the ball in the Red Zone and on third down.  This week, Stanford kept Duke from the running the ball at any point (Duke 27 yds rushing).  Last week against FIU, Duke's Sean Renfree didn't force the ball into coverage.  This week, Stanford picked him off twice and prevented Conner Vernon from catching the easy thrown slant.  What does all that mean?  Duke flew out California and left their ability to execute at RDU.  Stanford has a good football team, and YES they are better than FIU.  But the score got away from the Blue Devils fast because of what the Devils weren't doing, not from what Stanford was.  When an unblocked player falls down at the point of attack on a punt returner, you realize right away that it's going to be a long day.  The biggest thing Duke has to do now is forget it.  Yep, leave the game film California.  It will be the worst game Duke plays all year.  The most important thing is to not let the idea of losing linger in the locker room.  They have enough talent to go to a bowl game, and even shake up the Coastal Division.  But they have to forget this one.  It was pitiful.


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