UNC’s typical high-powered offense hasn’t been putting as many points on the board lately, but there have been no issues in moving the football. Mitch Trubisky continues to perform on a high level, Larry Fedora remembered he has running backs, and even without Mack Hollins, the Tar Heels have plenty of weapons who can get open downfield. The biggest strength for the Tar Heel offense this weekend is that they’re playing Virginia, a defense that’s allowing 32.3 points per game. Carolina has been tremendous on the road during their uptick, and their offense should carry them to a relatively easy win on the road in Charlottesville.
You hate to pile on the kid, but NC State’s Kyle Bambard is 5-11 on field goal attempts this season including a 1-4 performance in Death Valley that cost the Wolfpack an upset win. Duke laid out the blueprint to beating Louisville, but is Dave Doeren willing to turn the game into a one-possession slug-fest without any confidence in his kicker? It would have been interesting to see Duke’s final possession play out because the only kicker struggling more than Bambard is Duke’s AJ Reed. Maybe we’ll get to see it this Saturday with the Pack, because if NC State is a kick away from the upset, you have to think they’ll go for the touchdown instead.
A win against Louisville will certainly bring out the “what might have been” ghosts for Halloween, but man, it would truly be a statement for Dave Doeren’s program. Mental toughness has been a question mark for the Pack, and it’s not made any better by constant whining about the schedule from the head coach. But to go through Clemson and Louisville back-to-back with two fighting efforts would say a lot about the state of the program and would certainly make other teams start complaining about having to play against the Wolfpack.
After being bottled up a week ago, Louisville quarterback and Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson has to be the most terrifying man in college football this weekend. Duke pressured him with the front 7 and dropped in coverage to force him to make an accurate throw, and he looked shaky whenever he used his arm and not his feet. NC State’s defensive front should be able to do the same, but with a week to stew about a frustrating performance, Jackson (and his equally frustrated coach) may be looking to make a statement of their own.