North Carolina football: Stock report after Week 11
The North Carolina Tar Heels have now won 2 in a row. This streak comes after the Tar Heels lost 2 in a row to Virginia and Georgia Tech, effectively ending any College Football Playoff hopes.
In Week 11, the Tar Heels played another anxiety-inducing game, this time beating the Duke Blue Devils in double overtime. The Tar Heels escaped with a 47-45 win and now sit at 8-2 with 2 tough games to end the season.
Before the big game against Clemson, let’s go into the stock report from Week 11.
Player of the Week: Omarion Hampton
This should just be called the “Omarion Hampton Award,” because this is the 3rd week in a row that Hampton is the selection. The back collected 169 rushing yards and 1 TD. Hampton also caught 8 passes for 47 yards.
The case could be made that Hampton is the most valuable player on this team. Hampton has now eclipsed 100 rushing yards in 5 straight games. When Drake Maye can’t get going, Hampton is there to pick him up.
Newcomer of the Week: Tez Walker
Walker once again showcased why the North Carolina staff wanted him so desperately. Walker caught 7 passes and went for 162 yards. The receiver is a true deep-threat who can get open against the best secondaries in the country.
Walker has now played in 6 games for the Tar Heels and has eclipsed 130 receiving yards in 3 of those. Walker adds an element to the offense that no one else is capable of. With Walker and Hampton, this is an elite offense.
Biggest Surprise: Omarion Hampton leads the team in receptions
Hampton not only had a massive day on the ground, the running back also racked up a season-high 8 receptions and gained 47 yards. The previous high in receptions for Hampton was 4, and his previous yardage high was 41.
Hampton was a safety valve for Maye all night. The yardage total wasn’t crazy, but for the first time, Maye checked down to Hampton consistently instead of forcing the ball downfield.
Developing trend: Noah Burnette remains perfect on extra points
Burnette has turned into one of the most reliable kickers in the nation. The kicker has only missed one field goal all season, and is a perfect 38-38 on extra points.
Against the Blue Devils, Burnette made all 3 of his extra points and all 6 of his field goal attempts. That included a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation to force overtime. Considering the Tar Heels play a ton of close games, Burnette is an invaluable part of the team.
Biggest concern: Allowing Duke to score 45 points
North Carolina’s defense cannot stop anybody right now. Before this game, the Blue Devils scored 0 against Louisville and 24 against a very bad Wake Forest team. The previous season-high in points scored for the Blue Devils was 42 against FCS Lafayette.
To scored 45 against the Tar Heels was a huge surprise. Also worth mentioning is that Duke QB Riley Leonard did not play. A true freshman, Grayson Loftis, came into Chapel Hill and dropped 45 points in just his second career start. That’s not a good sign for the Tar Heels.
First Impressions about Week 12: A tough Clemson team awaits
This season has not gone the way the Clemson Tigers wanted it to go. The Tigers are sitting at 6-4 after having College Football Playoff aspirations at the beginning of the season.
Don’t let the record fool you — this is still a good team. The Tigers have had a late-season resurgence, winning their last 2 games against quality opponents. The Tigers have also been scoring again, with 73 points over the last 2 games.
The way the Tar Heel defense has been performing, it would not be surprising to see the Tigers have a big day on offense. The Tigers still have the No. 6 defense in the country and are allowing opponents just 271.8 yards of offense.
Clemson is much tougher against the pass than they are against the run, so this may be an Omarion Hampton day once again. Clemson’s secondary is tough and could make life miserable for Drake Maye. If the Tigers stack the box and don’t allow Maye to complete deep passes, it could be a long day for the Tar Heel offense.
For the Tar Heel defense, the key will be getting to the QB and not allowing the big plays. The Tigers are middle-of-the-pack in rushing and passing offense. Getting out to an early lead will be key for the Tar Heels. The Tigers will have a raucous crowd, so taking them out of the game early will be pivotal.