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A Look at the Tar Heels

Saturday’s game, like most any other ACC game, would appear to be a toss-up. North Carolina is a slight favorite, but Maryland is in a virtual must-win situation (or close to it) at home. Here are some tidbits about the resurgent Tar Heels, who have fast become contenders under Coach Butch Davis:

North Carolina is plus-16 in turnover margin in its seven wins and minus-5 in its two losses.

The Tar Heels lead the ACC with six non-offensive touchdowns. They have scored on four interception returns, one punt return and one blocked punt recovery in the end zone.

They have lost two games this season by a total of six points (20-17 to Virginia Tech and 16-13 to Virginia). Dating back to last season, their last four losses have been by a total of 12 points.

They have not committed a turnover in the last two games and have attempted 60 consecutive passes without an interception.

They have trailed in six of seven wins this season. The only time they have not trailed was in last week’s 28-7 win over No. 20 Georgia Tech. Three times this season the Tar Heels have rallied from deficits of at least 10 points.

North Carolina and Maryland are two of only six teams in the country to have three wins over top 25 teams this season. The others: Texas, Texas Tech, Alabama and Southern California.

North Carolina is tied for first nationally with Boston College in interceptions (18). The Tar Heels have intercepted at least one pass in eight of nine games this season and have had multiple interceptions in six games. They have returned a single-season school record four interceptions for touchdowns.

North Carolina is fourth nationally in turnover margin. And the Tar Heels have scored 83 points off turnovers this season, including 11 touchdowns and two field goals.

Since taking over for injured starter T.J. Yates, quarterback Cameron Sexton has led North Carolina to a 5-1 record. He has completed 80 of 138 passes for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns. He does not qualify for ACC stats, but if he did he would be leading the conference in pass efficiency.

By Eric Prisbell  |  November 12, 2008; 11:19 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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