Ryan Craig

Carolina offense answers call against VT

Posted October 30, 2009

Throughout the 2009 season, Carolina has been a one-dimensional team. Except for a high-quality offensive effort against ECU, the Heels have been mainly comprised of a game-changing defense, and a stagnant offense.

In North Carolina's previous seven games, the only recipe for success Butch Davis and Co. had found was to force turnovers, hand the offense a short field, and hope for the best.

On this Thursday night, during Carolina's 20-17 win over Virginia Tech, things changed.

For starters, T.J. Yates was not a liability against Bud Foster's defense.

The junior signal-caller was solid, if not spectacular, in Blacksburg, completing 18 of 28 passes for just 131 yards, but two key scores.

Yes, his late-game interception had the potential to serve as a game-breaker for the Heels, but his ability to find Greg Little and Zack Pianalto in key situations throughout the contest often saved drives during a game in which Carolina went 10-19 on third-down conversions.

Unlike a week ago against FSU, when North Carolina’s offense continually found itself leaving the field after three plays in the game’s second half, Shaun Draughn, Ryan Houston and the rest of the Heels were able to stay on the pitch long enough to give the defense a break.

Instead of constantly having to deal with third and long, Draughn, and especially Houston, were effective enough on first and second down to allow the Heels to expand their playbook, move the chains, and hold on to the ball for 13 more minutes than their opponents.

Against the Seminoles, the Tar Heels “D” wore down in the second half and provided little resistance against Christian Ponder's right arm.

In Lane Stadium, that same defense, plenty fresh because of the three drives of 78 yards or longer that the Heels' offense was able to generate, forced Ryan Williams into a turnover that eventually led to Casey Barth’s game-winning field goal.

Sure there were specific plays you could point to that won the game for Carolina Thursday night - Greg Little's catch on fourth and seven with less than six minutes to go, Tydreke Powell's forced fumble on Tech's last possession, etc...- but if you're a Tar Heel fan, the overall picture is more important.

For weeks, the Tar Heels have tried to win with just defense, and failed.

For at least one game, Little's play-making, Pianalto's clutch catches, and the 143 rushing yards from Draughn and Houston meant that the defense didn't have to go it alone.
 

4 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • VT1994Hokie Nov 1, 2009

    Ryan Craig. This has been on here since Thursday night. Can you do another story?

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 31, 2009

    Ryan. Can you change the channel on this one? Thanks.

  • VT1994Hokie Oct 30, 2009

    I have to echo JGunn. They did a great job in preparing and shutting us down. A great win for UNC's program.

  • StunGunn Oct 30, 2009

    This was a terrific win for the Heels. Credit the D - they were amazing last night. I give Yates credit as well for keeping his composure after that potentially game losing turnover late in the game. Yates did have lots of help though with Little, Houston, Pianalto, and others who were spectacular. Those guys have worked so hard and I'm really happy for them.

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Minnesota

    Today at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: The Tour Championship

    Today at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Chicago at Dallas

    Tonight at 8:20 on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers v. Minnesota

    Today at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago at Dallas

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Hurricanes at Washington (Stream only)

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Atlanta at New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 22
Houston0Final
New England27
Sunday, Sep. 25
Arizona 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Buffalo 
 
Minnesota 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Carolina 
 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Cincinnati 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Green Bay 
 
Baltimore 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Jacksonville 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Miami 
 
Washington 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Giants 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Tennessee 
 
San Francisco 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Seattle 
 
Los Angeles 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
San Diego 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Indianapolis 
 
NY Jets 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Kansas City 
 
Pittsburgh 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Philadelphia 
 
Chicago 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Dallas 
Monday, Sep. 26
Atlanta 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
New Orleans 
 
NHL Preseason
Columbus 11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET18:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST22:00 UAE14:00 ET15:00 BRT
St. Louis 
 
St. Louis 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Columbus 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Arizona 10:35 PT11:35 MT12:35 CT1:35 ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 MST12:35 EST1:05 VEN21:35 UAE12:35 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
American League
NY Yankees010:07 PT11:07 MT12:07 CT1:07 ET13:07 ET17:07 GMT1:07 10:07 MST12:07 EST12:37 VEN21:07 UAE12:07 CT
Preview
Toronto0
 
Chi White Sox010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland0
 
Kansas City010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Preview
Detroit0
 
Boston010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay0
 
Seattle 11:10 PT12:10 MT1:10 CT2:10 ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 MST1:10 EST1:40 VEN22:10 UAE1:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota 
 
LA Angels 11:10 PT12:10 MT1:10 CT2:10 ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 MST1:10 EST1:40 VEN22:10 UAE1:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
 
Texas 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)3:05 CT
Preview
Oakland 
National League
Philadelphia010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets0
 
Atlanta0Canceled
Miami0
 
Washington 10:35 PT11:35 MT12:35 CT1:35 ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 MST12:35 EST1:05 VEN21:35 UAE12:35 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
 
Cincinnati 11:10 PT12:10 MT1:10 CT2:10 ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 MST1:10 EST1:40 VEN22:10 UAE1:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee 
 
Colorado 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
 
San Francisco 1:40 PT2:40 MT3:40 CT4:40 ET16:40 ET20:40 GMT4:40 1:40 MST3:40 EST4:10 VEN0:40 UAE (+1)3:40 CT
Preview
San Diego 
 
St. Louis 5:08 PT6:08 MT7:08 CT8:08 ET20:08 ET0:08 GMT8:08 5:08 MST7:08 EST7:38 VEN4:08 UAE (+1)7:08 CT
Preview
Chi Cubs 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Sunday, Sep. 25
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
Final
(1) S. Wawrinka2 6 5   
(5) A. Zverev6 3 5   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
Final
(1) D. Thiem65 2    
(3) L. Pouille77 6    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Sunday, Sep. 25
Korea Open (WTA)
Final
(5) M. Niculescu0 6 0   
L. Arruabarre6 2 6   
 
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
First Round
Y. Wickmayer6 77    
S. Rogers3 61    
D. Kovinic79 5 4   
L. Siegemund67 7 6   
Y. Shvedova6 6    
S. Zheng0 3    
I. Begu4 77 6   
E. Kulichkova6 64 2   
V. Lepchenko5 3    
L. Safarova7 6    
T. Babos3 5    
K. Siniakova6 7    
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 3    
B. Bencic3 4    
(13) R. Vinci6 6    
M. Puig3 3    
(12) T. Bacsinszky3 3    
L. Chirico6 4    
E. Makarova6 6    
S. Lisicki1 2