2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 10, UNC at NC State
ACC Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 5 at NC State 13 … North Carolina 0
CFN Analysis: The offense might be struggling a bit over the last few weeks, but the defense turned things around after the blowout loss to Florida State. Considering the nightmare of games in the middle of the season, now the D has turned the season around. North Carolina’s offense didn’t do anything, being held to just three rushing yards, while the offense did just enough to generate the needed balance to get by. James Washington carried the offense, and while Mike Glennon struggled, he wasn’t as bad as the Tar Heel quarterbacks. With winnable games against Boston College and Maryland wrapped around Clemson, not only will State go bowling, bit it’ll be high up in the pecking order.
Uhhhhh, North Carolina? You did get the message that the NC State run defense is a bit soft, right? After hanging 38 points on Clemson and 49 on Wake Forest, the offense didn’t go anywhere and the mistakes were big. The three turnovers were bad, the lack of pass protection was worse, and Bryn Renner getting knocked out of the game was really bad. Braden Hanson stepped in and wasn’t bad, completed 7-of-13 passes for 86 yards with a pick, but he didn’t lead the way to points. After losing three of their last four games, the Tar Heels are in big trouble with a trip to Virginia Tech up next, and while a bowl game is assured, it might take a win over Duke to avoid getting the league’s last slot.
(AP) RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mike Glennon threw a touchdown pass to help North Carolina State beat North Carolina 13-0 on Saturday, earning its fifth straight win against its nearby rival.
James Washington ran for 110 yards for N.C. State (5-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which again saved its best for the Tar Heels in a surprisingly one-sided -- and often ugly -- contest.
The Wolfpack ranked in the bottom half of the league's defensive statistics, but overwhelmed the Tar Heels (6-4, 2-4) and shut down freshman runner Giovani Bernard.
However, Bernard did reach 1,000 yards rushing for the season, becoming the program's first player to reach the milestone in 14 years. Bernard entered the game needing just 35 yards, and broke the mark in the third quarter. But the Wolfpack held him to 47 yards on 18 carries.
N.C. State also knocked starting quarterback Bryn Renner from the game by the end of the third.
It was N.C. State's first shutout in the series in more than five decades.
With that type of defense, Glennon and the offense didn't need a big day. Glennon threw an interception on the first drive, but N.C. State protected the ball the rest of the day.
The win marked the first time the Wolfpack had taken five straight meetings with the Tar Heels since 1988-92. And it once again proved that coach Tom O'Brien -- still unbeaten against UNC -- knows how to win the most important game to the Wolfpack's fan base.
The rivalry got a little extra spice late in the week when O'Brien and North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers traded verbal jabs about graduation rates and the lingering NCAA investigation of the UNC program. But O'Brien got the last word with this one, as N.C. State celebrated its first shutout of UNC since 1960, its first shutout of an ACC opponent in a decade and the first in five seasons under O'Brien.
Glennon completed 16 of 33 passes for 164 yards, including the 12-yard scoring strike to T.J. Graham in the back of the end zone to cap N.C. State's second drive. Niklas Sade added two short field goals that helped the Wolfpack play with a lead all day in front of its red-clad home crowd.
The Wolfpack didn't manage many big plays against a North Carolina defense that played solidly enough to keep the Tar Heels in it, holding N.C. State to 290 total yards. The problem was that defense got absolutely no help from an offense that came in averaging 31 points per game, sending the Tar Heels to their first shutout loss since 2006.
N.C. State had allowed three of four ACC opponents to rack up at least 400 yards, but the Tar Heels managed minus-7 yards through the first quarter, 32 through the first half and didn't even crack the 100-yard mark until the final period. Renner threw for 76 yards on 9-for-17 passing with two interceptions before leaving the game with concussion-like symptoms late in the third.
North Carolina's offense finished with 165 total yards in a woeful showing. The closest thing the Tar Heels had to a highlight came when Renner found Dwight Jones with a midrange pass that Jones turned into a 75-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, but a holding call wiped out the score. In addition, Renner took a hard hit on the throw and got up gingerly. He never looked right the rest of the game, even leaving briefly late in the first half and going to the locker room while Braden Hanson stepped under center.
Hanson took over late in the third and threw for 86 yards with an interception, but he didn't get the Tar Heels any closer to a score than Renner did.
N.C. State held the Tar Heels to 3 yards rushing and finished with four sacks.
North Carolina (6-3) at NC State (4-4) Nov. 5, 12:30, ACC Network
Here’s The Deal … After three straight eight-win seasons, North Carolina has a rather predictable goal down the stretch—win a ninth game for the first time in 14 years. The Tar Heels took a giant step in that direction a week ago, whipping Wake Forest, 49-24, in a matchup that reeked of a possible landmine game. It was a dominating—and much-needed—all-around effort from a team that had hit rock-bottom in consecutive losses to Miami and Clemson in the previous two games. The Heels will look to build on last Saturday against a longtime rival, NC State.
The Wolfpack enters Week 10 with a very different mindset, looking to shake off last week’s 34-0 pounding at the hands of Florida State. The Pack had been playing markedly better prior to walking into a garnet and gold buzzsaw in Tallahassee. While Carolina has controlled this series over the better part of the past century, NC State has won the last four meetings, raising the ante a bit for this one.
Why North Carolina Might Win: The balance of the Tar Heels offense, which has produced 87 points over the past two games, figures to be too much for an opportunistic—yet beatable—NC State defense. As the season has unfolded, the backfield tandem of QB Bryn Renner and RB Giovani Bernard has evolved into one of the ACC’s best. Bernard, a redshirt freshman, has rushed for more than 100 yards in six of the last seven games to move to within the lip of the 1,000-yard cup. Renner is coming off his sharpest game behind center, finishing 21-of-28 for 338 yards, three scores and no picks. Carolina has the offensive options that the Wolfpack has been unable to secure this fall.
Why NC State Might Win: If there’s a dent in Carolina’s defensive armor, it’s clearly the secondary, especially now that starting S Matt Merletti is out for the year with an ACL tear. The Heels were outstanding in pass defense a week ago, but that kind of an effort versus Wake Forest has been more of the exception than the rule. The Pack will counter with QB Sean Glennon and a passing attack that’s determined to get back on the rails. The junior has been inconsistent, but clearly has the physical tools to snap off a three-touchdown game at a moment’s notice. WR T.J. Graham is a particularly dangerous target in the passing game and on special teams. Led by pilfering CB David Amerson, who has eight picks, NC State has more takeaways than any other ACC team.
What To Watch Out For: Can the suspect Wolfpack offensive line withstand the pressure of the North Carolina pass rushers? NC State has LB Audie Cole, but the Tar Heels have a much deeper collection of defenders along the front seven. From ends Kareem Martin and Quinton Coples to linebackers Zach Brown and Kevin Reddick, Carolina is loaded with the kinds of playmakers who can collapse the pocket on a consistent basis. If Glennon is forced to make connections on the move, at least two of his passes will wind up in a white jersey.
What Will Happen: Carolina and NC State will wage a competitive battle befitting of two heated rivals. Neither team will get much separation, with the outcome remaining in doubt throughout all four quarters. The difference will be provided by Bernard, the one player in this game most likely to extend drives in the latter stages of an edge-of-your-seat tussle. His running and the deft passing of Renner will carry the Heels to a win in front of a deflated Carter-Finley crowd.
CFN Prediction: North Carolina 34 … NC State 28
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-3.5 O/U: 55
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