Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday morning QB: Assessing the weekend's games

Other than John Blake, did anyone have a worse weekend than Johnny White?

The UNC senior worked ferociously in the offseason to prove himself at tailback, where he had played before seeing action at a variety of different spots.

The Tar Heel coaches raved about what they saw, and you knew White would get his chance when Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston didn’t make the trip to Atlanta.

Then – yikes – he fumbled his first run. White didn’t figure into the game plan much after that, as Carolina shifted to powerful, but non-explosive, Anthony Elzy. White finished with eight carries for 29 yards and Elzy 14 for 46.

ALONG THOSE LINES … can anyone in the Triangle run the football? It’s hard to say after Saturday’s games. N.C. State’s Dean Hayden had 13 carries for 69 yards against Western Carolina, but it’s hard to say how that computes against better competition.

Duke is making noise about having to run the ball this year, and local product Desmond Scott turned in 77 yards rushing on 15 tries, with a score. But again, that’s against Elon.

Both State and Duke face watershed games this weekend, with the Pack at Central Florida and Duke at Wake Forest. Both teams got spectacular quarterbacking in their opening wins, but the run game is going to have to be there to support that.

N.C. STATE CONTINUED to be sneaky about its personnel. Last Monday, the Wolfpack announced a depth chart that surprised everyone with Dean Haynes at tailback – turns out, he’d been moved from offense to defense two weeks before that.

That depth chart also included Jake Vermiglio as the starting left tackle and J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn as backups on the defensive line. But all three did not suit up against Western Carolina – remember, the three had faced drug charges before the season. The charges eventually were dropped. ...

SATURDAY'S GAMES MARKED the debut of two players we may be talking about for a while, N.C. State’s Crisp and North Carolina’s James Hurst. Crisp started at left tackle with Vermiglio out, and at 6 feet 7 and 300 pounds, it’s hard to imagine Crisp standing on the sidelines much.

Hurst backed up Carl Gaskins at left tackle against LSU and played often. If you watched him closely, you notice he didn’t seem intimidated at all by the magnitude and speed of the game.

Left tackle is a tough position to play, as the movie “The Blind Side” pointed out. To see two players contributing there as true freshmen is nothing short of remarkable.


Carolina’s T.J. Yates. The Tar Heel quarterback has his detractors, but he turned in a terrific game in difficult circumstances Saturday night.

Carolina’s Zack Pianalto: He didn’t make excuses for not catching that final ball – even though it looked like pass interference.

State’s Russell Wilson: The kid skips football for six months and then plays like that? Wow.

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