4. North Carolina 38, Pitt 35
Welcome back to college football, North Carolina.
After the ugly and embarrassing loss to East Carolina, and after missing last week thanks to the hurricane nightmare, the Tar Heels came out slinging it around against Pitt, with Nathan Elliott throwing for 313 yards and two scores, and with Antonio Williams running for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
And now it’s condition critical time for Pitt.
The Panthers might have beaten Georgia Tech last week, but the blasting from Penn State and the loss to the Tar Heels now put the potential for a bowl game in jeopardy. Of course it’s early, but this just isn’t working.
The defense can’t handle good passing quarterbacks – or even mediocre ones – and there were too many big runs allowed. This isn’t supposed to be a team that can be pushed around, and it was.
Worst of all, Pat Narduzzi and his coaching staff can’t seem to get things going in the second halves of games. The Penn State avalanche was one thing, but to get outscored 17-0 in the third quarter against North Carolina is a problem.
There wasn’t any defensive pressure, and there wasn’t a big play needed late when the team desperately needed a stop.
So now the pressure off UNC head man Larry Fedora – for now – and it goes on Narduzzi. It’s a lousy year overall for the ACC, and the opportunity is there to make a little noise.
But this might have been a battle of two mediocre teams putting up points on each other. There’s still a whole lot to prove for both.