UNC's injuries a factor in offensive ineptitude

October, 9, 2009
10/09/09
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich


What’s wrong with North Carolina’s offense? The Tar Heels are ranked 113th in the nation in total offense (280 yards per game), 103rd in rushing offense (100 ypg), and 107th in scoring offense (18.6 points per game).

Offensive coordinator John Shoop was kind enough to talk to me about it this week -- I always respect coaches who talk to the media when things aren’t going well. But before you read the Q&A, keep in mind these few facts:
  • North Carolina has lost 18 offensive starts due to injury.
  • On the offensive line, the Tar Heels currently have just two players who had any experience before this year (Kyle Jolly, Alan Pelc). The other eight (three starters and five backups) had essentially no playing experience before this season.
  • Carolina came into the season with questions primarily at offensive line and wide receiver and those are the two areas hit the hardest by injuries, along with tight end, which has hurt their receiving and blocking.
  • UNC has had no injuries on defense, with the exception of backup safety Matt Merletti.

Against Georgia Southern, the Tar Heels could be missing six players who started the first game of the season against The Citadel (Jolly, Jonathan Cooper, Lowell Dyer, Zack Pianalto, Bobby Rome, and Joshua Adams).

Shoop won’t use the injuries as an excuse, but I’m not sure everyone realized just how much of an impact they’ve had. Stay tuned for Shoop’s take on the offense.

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