Everyone does football previews. Only SportsChannel8 gives it to you in the form of a SWOT analysis. What’s a SWOT? Take it away, Jared …
UNC’s offense put on a clinic against James Madison. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky was accurate on almost every throw, but that feat becomes much easier when the offensive line is keeping him as far away from pressure as possible. North Carolina has only allowed three sacks so far this year, and that strength is going to HAVE to be a strength against a Pitt defense that’s 2nd in the ACC in quarterback sacks through three games. The Tar Heels will score points if Trubisky has time to throw, and the offensive line has been incredibly impressive so far this year.
Duke’s kicking game is atrocious. Talent wise, Duke is better at almost every position than they were a year ago, but the drop-off from senior Ross Martin to freshman AJ Reed has been alarming. Reed has missed on every field goal attempt so far this season, missed an extra point, and had another that was so bad that the referees assumed it was no good until they looked at instant replay. Don’t be surprised to see Duke play the percentages and leave the offense on the field on 4th down if they’re anywhere close to field goal range.
While a win in South Bend would certainly be a season-changing win for Duke, a win for the ECU Pirates at Virginia Tech is far more likely. ECU hasn’t backed down from anyone so far this year, beating NC State at home before heading to South Carolina and losing a semi-close one to the Gamecocks. Want to show that a run of success against ACC schools isn’t a fluke? Here’s your chance. Go beat Virginia Tech’s new coach and send a message that things aren’t likely to change anytime soon.
Pitt’s rushing offense is fourth in the ACC averaging 239 yards per game, and they also happen to run the ball more than Georgia Tech (somehow). That’s not good news for North Carolina who is averaging giving up 227 yards per game against Nick Chubb and two garbage opponents. Pitt’s style of play is well suited to wear down the Tar Heel defense and keep UNC’s skill players on the sidelines, much like Baylor did in last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl. The best bet for the Heels? Get a lead and make Pitt throw the ball.