Each week I will be writing a piece with 3 or 4 specific thoughts I had about our game the previous day. You may remember me doing this during baseball season, these articles will very similar. Connor Mitch will be fine, the defense will get better between the 20's, can we please give Terry Googer some more playing time, and WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SHON CARSON? So, let's get started, shall we?
Connor Mitch Will Be Fine, Everybody Have Some Patience
If you look at his raw numbers you'd probably think Mitch had an absolutely terrible game. 9/22 for 122 yards and a touchdown doesn't exactly inspire confidence from a former 4 star recruit. But those numbers don't tell the entire story. David Williams had 3 drops on swing routes that would have netted him at least 10 yards a pop, Jerrell Adams had one hit him in the face that he didn't even put his hands up for (at least from what I could tell) and Deebo Samuel dropped a tough catch on what was pretty much a perfect throw that would've been about a 50 yard gain. I think he'll come out next week and have a pretty big day in front of the home crowd. Oh and he showed some pretty good mobility and toughness, playing through a cramping throwing hand and a hip pointer. Must be something about the name Connor...
Bend but Don't Break
If you told me we'd give up 440 yards to UNC before the game I'd probably be hoping that we would score about 45 points. But once UNC got inside the redzone the defense stiffened up and got some huge stops. Mainly due to pressure put on UNC's QB Marquise Williams because HOLY CRAP WE HAD LIKE 4 SACKS LAST NIGHT. I really do think that our defense rattled him, which is fairly surprising considering he is a 5th year senior. But hey, they got the job done. And I think they'll figure out how to cut down on the 1 or 2 big plays per drive that killed potential 3 and outs.
Small Sample Size, But Terry Googer Could Be A Good One
He only had 2 targets, but he made good on both of them, gaining 39 yards which was good for 19.5 yards per catch. He ran pretty sharp routes, seemed to know where he was on the field, and used his big body to shield away defenders. We probably need to find a way to rotate him on the field more as the season goes on.
Shon Carson Was One of the Heroes. No I Am Not Joking.
We give Shon a hard time because he seemingly can't break tackles. And coming in as a high 3 star, or according to some sites as a 4 star, he had fairly high expectations. Whether it's due to injuries that he's had to battle through or other reasons, Carson just hasn't been the explosive, shifty, and gamebreaking tailback that we expected him to be. Well that changed, at least for a night, in yesterday's game. Down 13-10 and needing a big play to turn the tide, Carson came through with an explosive 48 yard touchdown run. I mean I thought the UNC safety had a decent angle on him and would bring him down inside the 10 yard line but Carson just went into another gear and ran right by him. If he can keep up this kind of performance throughout the year he will add yet another threat to our already dynamic running game. Props to Carson for coming through in a big way last night.
It wasn't perfect last night by any stretch of the imagination. But it seems we may have a decent to above average defense this year with an offense with the potential to be pretty good. We're certainly not there yet, but we might just have a decent squad on our hands this year. We will certainly know more after next week's game against Kentucky. But for now, we're 1-0, on pace to go 15-0, and we just beat UNC for the 6th time out of the last 7. Enjoy the win, have a good weekend, watch other teams play sloppy in their opening game and Go Cocks!