Saturday, October 04, 2008

Carolina post game

Lots of ground to cover, and time is short.
  • Desi Cullen said he took a little too much time getting rid of the ball on punts. "I might have took longer because I really needed to focus on the direction of the ball," Cullen said. "If I mishit it one way or the other, it could end up in (Brandon Tate's) hands, which is usually a bad thing, or I could shank it out of bounds which I did on that third punt."

  • Punt protection was a problem, too. Bruce Carter blocked all three punts, giving him four in the last two games (his block led to the Tar Heels' winning score last week at Miami). "Basically, we didn't execute the technique that we had. We just had some mistakes in there and obviously we have to do a better job getting our point across. It was surprising because we haven't had any problems with it."

  • UNC coach Butch Davis said the Tar Heels felt they could confuse UConn on their punts. "UConn had a brand new personal protector. We felt like if we could kind of confuse him a bit with some of the alignments we could get some pressure off the edge. And it worked. One of the things we try and impress upon guys is if you are on the punt pressure unit, you never know when the other team might make a mental mistake. Unless you go hard, you never know."

  • Blocked punts and turnovers resulting in a short field aside, penalties killed the Huskies. Eleven for 97 yards on Saturday, including five or six holds. UConn had 20 for 177 in five previous games. Other stats from the bizarre: the Huskies ran 84 plays on offense to North Carolina's 49, and held a 378-263 advantage in total offense and a 36:22 to 23:38 advantage in time of possession. Blocked punts and turnovers made it easier for the Tar Heels.

  • Donald Brown finished with 161 yards, and becomes the ninth UConn player to reach 1,000 yards in a season (he's at 1,067). All on Saturday were difficult. "The nature of their offense is they are a big-time possession offense," Davis said. "They run the ball so much and so effectively, the passing game with all the shallow bubbles is almost an extended handoff."

  • Said Edsall, "No excuses, but it hurt that we didn't have Steve Brouse." Dan Ryan, wearing No. 88, will be used in some sets as a tight end. At 6-foot-8, he could be a nice target in the end zone, too. "We had way too many dropped balls," Edsall added.

  • The lights are a problem at Kenan Stadium. Word is, one of the towers went out last season against Marshall. They continued to play because it's not that bad with only one out. When the second went out, that was too much. Edsall said the refs made the right call in delaying the game. "I wouldn't want my son playing with it like that," Edsall said. "It was bad." Of course, one of the towers went out later in the second half, and stayed out for the remainder of the game.

  • Zach Frazer wasn't great, but he wasn't that bad, either. Dropped balls hurt, but he slung some pretty well. He made a couple of bad decisions on two of the picks, the most glaring taken for a touchdown by 300-pound defensive tackle Marvin Austin as Frazer was being hauled to the turf. "That was a dumb decision," Frazer said. "I was trying to make something happen, and trying to do more than I could." The other pick went through Kashif Moore's hands before being intercepted.


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