*Editors Note: I’ve been begging my long time friend and witty ranter ColoUte to make some kind of contribution to this humble website. Mostly cause he’s funny and doesn’t always drink the kool-aid. So read this cause its funny and true.*
Fight, fight to win each battle fairly,
The only way we e’er shall be,
We shout out the name,
To keep the fame and glory to old U-N-C! – UNC Fight Song
Thought I’d begin with an excerpt from the UNC fight song since from the opening kick, there was truly very little chance of that song being played/sung at any point during the night. There wasn’t a lot of hype leading up to the game, but I was nevertheless thrilled to be playing the Bears. UNC is a school with some meaning for me. Two of the very most important people in my life graduated from there….oh yeah, and both of my parents went there too. (Ba-Doom-Ching)
I spent an insignificant portion of my childhood there while my father was attending Grad School just before my 2nd birthday. I played the part of cute little dorm pet admirably. To this day, I’m haunted by the memories of the black-eye earned from my fights with the window-unit air-conditioner, receiving an intellectual comeuppance by the dorm elevators which couldn’t guess which floor the lonely toddler actually wanted to go to, and getting tossed around the swimming pool like a beach-ball – drowning ever so slowly as each terrified scream admitted a new stream of dirty water and Early 70s “Hang-On Hippie” urine. But I digress…..
Well, any fear I had of once again succumbing to the PTSD of my childhood trauma was pretty much immediately assuaged once both teams took the field. The physical mismatch was readily apparent as their O-Line took their stances across from our D-line. It looked like the unfortunate time Lord Littlebrook (Google it) was caught in the ring with King Kong Bundy. UNC was “plucky” and come hell or high water, they were going to establish the run, dangit. Unfortunately for them, Star Lotulelei thought they were cute and wanted to keep them as pets.
If you want to ever see an example of a good D-lineman utterly dominating an overmatched opponent, watch Star in this game. Remember that scene from Mulan where, after the avalanche, Mulan and friends were teetering on the edge of a cliff holding on to a rope tied around Mulan’s horse until the big sweet tempered guy wraps his arms around all of them, and picks them up – horse and all – and carries them back up the hill? That’s what Star was like. He didn’t have many tackles, but he was group-hugging 3 – and occasionally 4 – blockers 3 yards in the backfield while our ILB and Defensive ends ran around untouched.
All that said, the physical mismatch actually worked in their favor on one particular play. The Utes ran an end-around to Dres Anderson in the 2nd quarter. When the ball was snapped and handed to John White, the Bear DE was puffing along the line as fast as his legs would carry him….but that wasn’t very fast. Good thing, too, because the play developed so quickly due to White and Anderson’s respective quickness, that when the pitch to Anderson was made, the DE was WAY behind the play. He had a good 10 yard head start on Drizzy which allowed him to turn the play inside for a mere 12 yard gain. It’s odd to think that if the UNC DE would have had any kind of speed at all, that play’s probably a touchdown for the Utes….so way to go, there.
Well, with such an obvious mismatch, any sort of breakdown would be fairly pointless as not much about the Utes’ play could really be discerned, so here’s the jist.
Offense: Jordan Wynn was good as a game manager, bad as a gun-slinger. Running backs were great, Tight Ends phenomenal, receivers acceptable. Tackles need to get much much better. Liked Brian Johnson’s use of the underneath drag routes. They were wide open all night against the deep zone of the Bears and were nice pressure free throws for Wynn. Overall I would have liked a faster start, but it was the first game with a new coordinator, so I won’t complain too loudly.
Defense: Well, the Defense outscored the other team’s offense. Can’t ask for much more than that. Bottom line: UNC didn’t score. They weren’t close to scoring. I think they passed midfield once, and that was off of a personal foul penalty. They averaged less than 2 yards per carry on the ground, yet didn’t even try to pass in 3rd and long situations. They knew nothing was there, and wouldn’t be there, so they hedged their bets and punted – their best offensive plays of the night.
Special Teams: Kick coverage was great. Place-kicking sucked….which I’m used to as a long time Ute fan. Frankly, Golden Whetman made me numb to it. No matter how bad Coleman Peterson’s been the last couple of games, he’s no Cletus Truhe…and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.
We’ll learn more next week against Utah State, but we did what we were supposed to do. We could have done it better, which I’m sure Kyle will address, but fans who want to complain that a 41-0 should have been more, really ought to prepare themselves for when actual problems come into their lives.
Last point, the Taiko Drum – while not as overtly culturally insensitive as much of our fanbase would have liked – was pretty cool. As for what it replaced, well, I was checking my e-mails during half-time and the new guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “E-mail? You’re missing the Crazy Lady.” “I wouldn’t say I’m ‘missing’ it, Bob.”….so there ya go.