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Greg's Game Day Breakdown

East Carolina at UNC-Chapel Hill

Sept. 22, 2012

By Greg Vacek
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Game Day Weather Notes & Radar Loop

King of the (Chapel) Hill: The Tar Heels and Pirates will meet today for the fifth time in the last six years. North Carolina is 3-1 in the four most recent meetings, including a 35-20 win in 2011 and a 42-17 triumph in 2010.  East Carolina, which will try to improve its record to 3-1 for only the second time since 2001, will be looking to capture a victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference stadium for the first time since 2006 (21-16 at NC State) and end a run of six-straight setbacks.

UNC-CH TALE OF THE TAPE* ECU
78th/149.0 Rushing Offense 113th/91.7
21st/305.0 Passing Offense 54th/248.7
41st/454.0 Total Offense 100th/340.3
19th/41.0 Scoring Offense 91st/23.0
23rd/96.3 Rushing Defense 35th/113.7
83rd/135.1 Pass Efficiency Defense 87th/136.45
49th/352.7 Total Defense 85th/423.7
54th/22.3 Scoring Defense 69th/25.0
T-54/.00 Turnover Margin 54th/0.0
T-55/2.0 Sacks 27th/2.7
T-13/.67 Sacks Allowed 23rd/1.0

*2012 FBS National ranking

TOP PERFORMERS AT A GLANCE

PASSING  ATT. CMP. INT. YDS. TD

USM - Bryn Renner 101 63 3 870 9
ECU - Shane Carden 45 25 1 311 2

RUSHING ATT. YDS. AVG. TD

USM - A.J. Blue 35 188 5.4 3
ECU - Michael Dobson 31 96 3.1 0

RECEIVING NO. YDS. AVG. TD

USM - Romar Morris 19 241 59.7 3
ECU - Justin Hardy 14 149 12.7 2

TACKLES UT AT TFL SACKS

USM - Kareem Martin 6 7 7 2
ECU - Jeremy Grove 10 12 1 0

The Tar Heels utilize a spread offensive attack while employing a 4-2-5 defensive alignment. ECU also lines up in a spread but it relies on a 3-4 when defending.

WORTH NOTING

• The Pirates have yet to surrender a run of 24 or more yards this season and last week extended their streak of holding opponents to less than 135 ground yards to five-straight contests dating back to 2011.

• ECU has averaged 43.8 yards per punt with junior Trent Tignor ranking 26th nationally. The Pirates have averaged 15.0 yards per punt return (27th) and 26.9 yards per kickoff return (23rd).  Through three games, the Tar Heels have 14 punt returns for 293 yards, compared to just 2 for five yards for their opponents. The Tar Heels' 293 yards in returns lead the nation. Their average of 20.9 yards per return ranks 12th nationally.

The North Carolina offense has quick strike capability. Against Louisville, the Heels mounted rapid scoring drives lasting 1:40, 4:14, 1:36, 0:08 and 1:53.  Six of the Heels seven touchdown drives vs. Elon took 1:55 or less. Their touchdown drives against the Phoenix lasted 10 seconds, 19 seconds, 50 seconds, 1:26, 1:04 and 1:55.
• ECU has won four-straight games (and 32 of 37) when scoring 30 or more points, but has lost 12-straight games when scoring 20 or less points.
• In the second half this season, UNC-CH is outscoring its opponents 61-10, including a 38-0 mark in the third quarter.
• ECU has won 11 of its last 12 games when forcing three or more turnovers and has won 16 of its last 17 games when converting third downs at 50% or higher.

Read Greg Vacek's Complete Analysis of Today's Opponent on Boneyard Banter.

Key Links: Conference USA at a Glance  |  ECU Recruiting  |  ECU Schedule & Scores

GAME DAY WEATHER

The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 84 degrees in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon, which will make East Carolina's game with North Carolina the coolest of four starts for the Pirates thus far this season. It will still be warm enough to put a premium on conditioning and that could be a plus for ECU as Jeff Connors is one of the best in the business at preparing teams in that regard. Humidity is projected to range from 39 to 42 percent with 33 percent cloud cover. Winds could be a factor at 14 to 15 miles per hour from the south-southwest. That means the breeze will be blowing roughly across field from the Tar Heel sideline, which could impact the passing and kicking games. (Filed by Al Myatt)

View the full-size animated radar loop for Chapel Hill and vicinity.

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PAGE UPDATED 09/22/12 02:02 AM.

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