Photo courtesy of Aaron Beard
CHAPEL HILL– We are just two days out from the Tar Heels taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. The pressing question in most observers’ minds is how the UNC defense will handle the rare triple option attack.
And UNC Offensive Coordinator Blake Anderson says he can’t help but admire the fundamentally sound scheme that Yellow Jacket Head Coach Paul Johnson employs to confuse teams with superior athletes.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they’ve been able to do, the points they’ve scored, and the games they’ve won. Honestly, even when situations sometimes when they’ve been outmatched physically, schematically they play better than the people they play,” Anderson says.
Anderson says his offense will feel a lot of pressure to keep the chains moving in Atlanta on Saturday, especially since the Jackets are famous for grinding out long, time-consuming drives that have opposing teams scratching their heads wondering where the game went to in the fourth quarter.
“You do take notice that they’re going to run the clock and run the ball. It’s going to be a very short game if you’re not careful. You’ll look up, and you will not have had enough drives and enough opportunities,” Anderson says.
The running game for the Tar Heels has left more to be desired thus far this season. Anderson says he hopes that one back will eventually emerge as the dominant rusher, but for now he says it will be a committee effort.
“We’re always looking for a guy to emerge, and any of the three would be great. If it happens, we’ll all be fired up. But if not, we’ll just continue to do what we are doing,” Anderson says.
Senior offensive tackle James Hurst says he admits that the offensive line is not quite where they need to be at this stage of 2013, but he says a lot of that has to do with the extreme youth of the unit.
“We’re not there. It’s tough to say the total potential that you have. […] They’re really young. You don’t really know what kind of potential that you have until you get those guys confident and playing well,” Hurst says.
Hurst says the conference opener will go a long way to deciding who will play for the ACC Championship come December. In effect, Hurst says this game is a must-win.
“You really want to keep your fate in your own hands as far as tiebreakers and all that stuff. If you win them all you don’t have to worry about that. So this our first one, and we got to win it,” Hurst says.