The ACC honored two more Tar Heels this week for their performances on the field. Linebacker Durrell Mapp was named Defensive Back of the Week for his 18 tackles versus ECU and Brandon Tate was named Specialist of the Week for his 58 yard punt return and 100+ yards on kickoff returns.
Taking a quick glance at the statistics through two weeks, T.J. Yates is the leading quarterback in the ACC both in average passing yards and passing efficiency. Yates has completed 33 of 50 passes thrown(66%) for 562 yards(281.0 per game) and six TDs. Yates has thrown an INT in each game and has a passing efficiency of 192.0. Yates is ranked 17th in average yards and 13th in efficiency among all I-A QBs.
Brandon Tate is the leading receiver in the ACC with an average of 88.0 yards per game and is third in punt returns with a 13.3 yard average per return and 2nd in kickoff returns at 33.0. Tate is also fourth in the ACC in scoring with 12 points per game.
In terms of total team offense UNC is sixth in the ACC. The Heels have the #2 passing offense in the league and the #8 rushing offense. UNC is fourth in the ACC in scoring offense.
On the defensive side Durrell Mapp is the leading tackler in the ACC averaging 13.5 per game. This average is good for ninth in the nation. Outside of Mapp the statistical story is fairly light on Tar Heel defensive performers which shows up in the team stats. UNC is 8th in total defense among their league foes, sixth in rushing defense and 10th in passing defense. UNC rankes sixth in scoring defense and a somewhat anemic 11th in passing defense efficiency. Incidentally NC State is #1 in that category which might make November 10th quite interesting.
Since it is early we all know these numbers are going to shift in any number of directions. The main question we will have to come back to is whether Yates is sitting in relatively the same spot after UNC plays UVa, South Florida and Virginia Tech. All three of those teams are good defensive squads. Having seen LSU crush VT it is difficult to count Yates’ performance versus ECU’s defense as exceptionally special since it turns out ECU’s holding the Hokies to 10 offensive points had more to do with the ineptitude of the VT offense than it did the ECU defense. The huge worry is with the defensive statistics and the general hope is they will get better. Whereas there is room to be concerned about UNC facing three tough defenses in the upcoming weeks, they are also facing two of the worst offensive teams in the ACC. UVa and VT are downright horrid when they have the ball and if the UNC defense does not take the opportunity to hold those two teams in check then it is probably safe to say the team will struggle as the season goes on with the defense.