Lucas: Wake Forest Fast reactions
Quick takeaways from the homecoming battle with Wake.
1. Okay, be honest, how many of us saw this coming when Wake led 45-27 in the middle of the third quarter?
2. For the next little over 20 minutes, Carolina flashed Wake Forest, 31-3. The offensive onslaught you may have foreseen. But the defense, which suddenly got up and made several stops, didn’t seem imminent, as had gone the rest of the afternoon. “I’m really proud of the boys” Mack Brown told Jones Angell on the Tar Heel Sports Network. “We messed up a lot of things, but we’ve just beaten number eight in the country.”
3. But first the tar heel offense. Ty Chandler had the game of his Carolina career, going for 213 yards on 22 carries, scoring four touchdowns and beating the game 1:12 left.
4. Chandler got offensive by Sam Howellwhich was once again sensational. Howell made 16 of 26 passes for 216 yards and a score, and he also stormed for 104 yards 21 times. As the game progressed, he became the program’s all-time total yardage leader, a well-deserved honor. It’s a sign of how good the offense has gotten that they are 58 points on a top ten team with a pretty normal game of Josh Downs (four catches for 35 yards). A month ago the offense was unable to post those kinds of numbers without a big day of Downs. It got better and better as the season went on, partly due to a healthier offensive line. “Our offensive line is getting better and that’s because our centers are getting healthy,” Brown said.
5. Unexpectedly, however, there were also defensive heroes. Cam’Ron Kelly took two passes, Ray Vohasek hit a big fourth downpass and Storm ducks was largely effective in his return from injury. “Storm ducks was a difference, “said Brown.” We lost Don Chapman for the year. Storm hadn’t played in a year and a half and he did a great job covering it. “
6. Carolina was also used Force echoes more after losing Jeremiah Gemmel, and he replied with seven tackles, and Cedric Gray continued his ascent with 12 pitch tackles.
7. Both teams are likely to leave Chapel Hill believing they have committed too many penalties. Carolina and Wake were each marked 11 times, Carolina for 118 yards and Wake for 119 yards. This has been a problem for the tar heels lately and they need to clean it up before they visit Pitt Thursday. “We have to learn to win,” said Brown. “We need to understand that this is part of the deal and that you cannot act like that.”
8. To have really nice moments in the game at Kenan Stadium. Bruce Carter was honored as a Kenan legend and took the opportunity to get engaged, a moment he has been planning for months with the help of the game operations staff. And Eddie Smith and his entire family were honored when the Kenan Field was officially named after Chris Smith, who tragically lost his battle with ALS last May. The Smith family have been a tremendous supporter of Carolina Athletics and the university as a whole and received a well-deserved ovation.
9. If the Tar Heels can do business against Wofford, they should be in good shape to earn Bowl eligibility by now. The Coastal Division is still a little unlikely on the table. Carolina has a tough job Thursday night with a brief turnaround at Pitt, the current coastal guide. A Tar Heel win would make it interesting, at least for the last few weeks of the season.
10. More realistically (and more importantly in the bigger picture) a win would show that the tar heels have learned to manage wealth, which has been an occasional problem over the past two years. “The first two years things were too easy for us,” said Brown. “We have relied too much on these great players. Our program has to grow. We have to get better in every area. We saw that with these losses. The next three weeks will be really good for us to be like the last two grow.” was … Our team didn’t give up today. They kept fighting. “
11. As you will hear elsewhere, Carolina fans gave Wake Forest fans the high point of their lives by storming the field. Some people will no doubt say that it was not justified. A lot of time and money has gone into making football a pleasure at Chapel Hill. If it was fun – and memorable – for everyone who spent their Saturday afternoons in Kenan Stadium, then it was worth it. “What a great day for our fans,” said Brown. “They’re still on the field. They made a difference today. In the third and fourth quarters they really gathered to help our defenses.”