ACC Football: North Carolina Looks to Keep Speeding in Conference Opener Against Wake Forest

By M. Shannon Smallwood

Fedora Ball is ready to make its ACC Football conference debut.

And you better pay attention…

If not, you will surely miss watching the 2012 North Carolina Tar Heels score.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will be the first ACC opponent to try and slow down the blazing fast spread offense of Tar Heel Head Coach Larry Fedora on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the lone ACC head-to-head battle of the week.

And, based on Week 1, Wake will have its hands full.

“It was hard for us against Liberty (Flames) this past weekend,” Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe said. ” We weren’t real sure what we were going to see from Turner (Gill) and his coaching staff. We’ve got some of the same issues with North Carolina. They (UNC) give you a different look defensively than we’re used to and offensively they give you the up-tempo stuff which is real difficult since it forces your defenders to try and line up a play in a hurry. They’ve got one of the more talented teams in the country.”

The Tar Heels do have one of the more talented teams in the country and a group of athletes that have embraced the uptempo style of Fedora Ball.

Carolina dismantled the Elon Phoenix last week 62-0 in Week 1.


But here is the time of the scoring drives for the Heels… 10 seconds, 19 seconds, 50 seconds, 1:26, 1:04 and 1:55. Carolina took its time on the final scoring drive taking a mammothly slow 3:29.

That’s impressive and seems to be the new way of football in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“For our first game, I was pleased with the overall effort of the football team throughout the game and especially our focus throughout the game,” Fedora said. “As the game got a little bit out of hand in the second half, I was pleased with the way the guys went back out. They weren’t sloppy. They went out and executed as we had asked them to. We expect to practice a certain way each and every week. Doesn’t matter who we play, where we play, what time we play, what the conditions are, we try to get our guys to play one way all the time. That’s the new Carolina way.”

The new Carolina way saw five different Tar Heels score a touchdown.

The new Carolina way saw 14 different receivers catch a pass with no one Heel receiver catching more than three.

The new Carolina way saw 62 points put on the board in a total of 11:48 seconds.

And with the new Carolina way, Fedora knows his team still has a lot of room to improve.

“Our quarterback needs to be more conscious of where he is on the field, what’s going on, so that he can manage that better. Our offensive linemen need to do a better job of communicating quicker. Our receivers need to get lined up faster. We get those things done, we can move a little bit quicker.”

And you have to love the fact Fedora mentions his exceptional sophomore QB Bryn Renner just by the generic term of “quarterback” and big play senior WR Jheranie Boyd as “receiver”.

That is the new Carolina Way it seems too.

Well, one of two things will happen in this rivalry of Tobacco Road Saturday. Wake and the veteran Grobe will find a way to slow down the bullet train that is the new Carolina Way, or Fedora and his Heels will score 80.

Based on the start, the money is on Fedora and the new Carolina Way.


M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls

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