Monday, November 15, 2010

Taylor burned Carolina last Saturday - Is it Wilson's turn this Saturday?

Last week weekend, North Carolina, playing on its home field, was burned by Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor. This weekend, Carolina, 6-4, plays at home against a quarterback that can scramble and run like Taylor but who has a better arm. Does that spell disaster for the Tar Heels against rival N.C. State?

Well, if they turn the ball over like they did last week, yes. "If you turn the ball over six times and don't create turnovers, that's a killer," UNC coach Butch Davis said. "You can't win that way."

Especially against State. Davis said that on film State's Nate Irving looks like the best linebacker the Heels have faced. Plus, State quarterback Russell Wilson extends plays with his legs but he also throws very well, he said. In comparing Wilson with VT's Taylor, Davis said that Wilson's accuracy in throwing down the field and his arm strength is the difference.

“They’ve played very well this season,” Davis said of the Wolfpack. “In my personal opinion, against somebody in this big of a rivalry game, I don’t know how much records actually matter… There’s an awful lot of the kids that play the game and alumni that are around each other, they know each other and they see each other on a daily basis and so it’s obviously going to carry an enormous amount of significance.”

The Wolfpack, 7-3, has a chance to play for the ACC title if they can win out. So, this is more than a rivalry game. As CapitalSports' Dane Huffman pointed out, that fact isn't lost on N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien. But then he said this:

"There's not any more on the line than any time we play North Carolina," O'Brien said. "It's a game that's very special and very important to our school. ... There's no added significance one way or another. Now the bonus is if we win, we keep going."

As Davis said, "it's a game that everybody associated with this program wants to win very badly."

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