H-back gets involved as Terps loom
While a variety of big plays helped Wake Forest squash North Carolina 37-10 on Saturday, UNC's minus-3 turnover margin certainly stood out as one of the game's deciding factors.
Two of the turnovers were T.J. Yates interceptions, but the other resulted from a punt that hit UNC sophomore Richie Rich in the foot and was recovered by the Demon Deacons at the UNC 22.
Head coach Butch Davis said the use of a "rugby"-style kick that goes low and rolls on the ground is becoming more and more popular in college football.
"We've gotta do a much better job of communicating when the ball is on the ground," he said. "The ball almost hit us once prior to that. And just getting guys - once the ball is on the ground - to communicate verbally and visually so that they know to start looking for the football, try to identify it."
Pianalto adjusting to HB
Freshman Zack Pianalto has been slowly adjusting to the halfback position this season, and Saturday was his most productive day with six catches for 55 yards.
When Davis recruited Pianalto, he explained that he would move around and line up anywhere from the offensive line to wide receiver. Pianalto, who played wide receiver his whole high-school career, said squaring up against bigger defensive linemen has been an experience.
"I'd never got in a three-point (stance) and blocked a (defensive) end," he said. "It took me a while, and I'm still working on it. I'll be the first to tell you I still think I'm horrible at it."
UM on tap for Tar Heels
Pianalto also fielded a question about next week's opponent, Maryland.
"They're a great team," he said.
Great is stretching things a little bit. Mediocre would be a better word, as the Terps stand at 4-4 on the season and 1-3 in the ACC after a loss to Clemson this weekend.
But UM does have an impressive win on the road against Rutgers, and they also feature a talented two-pronged running attack with Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball. The duo has combined for 19 touchdowns already this season.
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