This time, no slow start for UNC
Posted September 29, 2012
Updated September 30, 2012
Slow starts have plagued North Carolina for the past three weeks.
But that's nothing Idaho couldn't fix.
Carolina's first quarter against the Vandals was nothing short of dominant – the Heels scored four touchdowns, and they could have scored more. Carolina turned the ball over twice deep in Idaho territory.
When a team wins as convincingly as this, there's always the question of: What have they really accomplished? I mean, let's face it: Idaho played like an 0-5 team in this game.
But a few things come to mind:
1) From an execution standpoint, the Heels are "getting it" on offense. There seems to be less indecision pre-snap, and the concept of "playing fast" has taken hold. Larry Fedora commented on this in his postgame interview, saying the real proof lies in the fact that his players are no longer aware they're "playing fast." They're no longer in a hurry, so to speak.
2) Limiting mistakes: They did turn the ball over twice, but Carolina only committed five penalties for a total of 40 yards. That's not bad considering the number of snaps in this game.
3) The defense: Since the first-half meltdown at Louisville, these guys have not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters. That speaks for itself, regardless of the competition.
4) Depth: Six players scored touchdowns. Nine players caught passes. Three running backs (and one quarterback) each rushed for at least sixty yards. And a lot of players who don't normally see the field got in this game.
It's a blowout win, so a lot of things will look good. But dominating a team as thoroughly as UNC thrashed Idaho has to give a team a major boost. Now, let's see if it carries over to next week, when Virginia Tech comes to town.