10 Things I Learned … UNC

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This week, I could write 20 Things. After all, it is not every week that you have a heart-stopping comeback win. Oh yeah, in overtime. On a national network. Against a ranked opponent. Make that against a ranked opponent who just happens to be your oldest rival. For a third straight win.

Maybe I could write 30 Things.

Byron Glaspy and the UVa defense did enough to slow down UNC’s offense.

1. Getting To The Drive. Before UVa’s final drive in regulation, the UNC offense had held the ball for more than 10 minutes more than the UVa offense, had a rushing advantage of more than 100 yards, had eight more first downs, and had more than 100 yards more in total offense. So that leads to an obvious question … how the heck was the Virginia offense in a position to tie the game at the end of regulation? The answer: a UVa defense that did just enough to get the game to that point.

Don’t get me wrong – despite the score, this was not a game that the Cavalier defense will enjoy watching in the film room this week. For the most part, the UNC offensive line controlled the point of attack (more on that later … again), and getting beat at the line of scrimmage never looks good on film. Neither will the fact that UNC was able to convert on more than half of its third down tries. But when the defense had to pull off some kind of stop, it seemed to be able to do it for most of the game, a major key being the three turnovers the defense forced. And make no mistake about it, these were not cases of the UNC offense gift-wrapping three turnovers – the Cavalier defense had to earn these turnovers … and they did:

Glaspy’s Interception. Down 7-0 early in the second quarter with the UNC offense on the UVa 33-yard line – and with the Virginia offense doing absolutely nothing – the game had the potential to get away from the Hoos. Instead, UNC’s momentum was halted with a great interception by Byron Glaspy, a classic case of a safety reading the quarterback’s shoulders, timing the quarterback’s release, and attacking the ball in the air.

Jenkins’ Interception.