UofL dominated the first half Saturday against North Carolina. In the second half however UNC returned the favor and the Cardinals looked lost.
The Cards will hit the road with a 3-0 record after escaping 39-34 against the Heels.
In the first half the UofL defense was pressuring UNC QB Bryn Renner, sometimes with just three on the defensive line. The Cards found it more difficult to pressure Renner in the second half and he had a much better time finding open receivers. Too often for the Cards those receivers were wide open.
UofL will have to continue to get better pressure up front to take some of that pressure off of the defensive backs.
What the defensive front did do however was stop the run. Early in the game the Cards defense stuffed UNC and they could never get the ground game going, finishing with 47 yards on the ground as a team.
For the Cards running the football was a completely different story. Both Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry had strong games running the ball. The pair combined for 201 yards on the ground.
The Cards have gotten off to great starts in their last two contests, but just seem to lose their intensity in the second half.
In the first half the Cards were moving the line of scrimmage down field with ease and opening up monster holes for the running game. Teddy had a lot of time to make decisions and find his receivers. In the second half UNC was spending too much time hanging out with Teddy in the backfield.
In the fourth quarter the Cards struggles to control the line were made even more apparent when they were stalled inside their own 20 and forced to punt. The punt was blocked at the five yard line and UNC punched it into the end zone on the next play.
The Cards then continued to implode. With under two minutes left in the game North Carolina stood at the door step ready to knock the Cards out. They had come back from down 36-7 at half to trailing by just five. The Cards stopped UNC on fourth and goal from the four-yard line and held on.
As much as the Cards struggled to match their first half intensity in the second half, you have to give some credit to North Carolina. UNC came out with a completely different mindset in the second half. A team that looked like they didn’t want to be on the field in the first half was finishing plays in the second half.
The Cards are going to need to play complete games going forward. The bounce that they come out with in the first half still has to be there in the fourth quarter.
Follow StraitCards this week for more on the UNC game and a look ahead to next week.
Filed Under: Football
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