Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heels must slow Cedric Peerman

CHAPEL HILL — If No. 18 North Carolina is to halt its 13-game losing streak at Virginia this weekend, it needs to slow an all-too-familiar foe — Cavaliers tailback Cedric Peerman (above).

The senior ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns against East Carolina last Saturday, and the Tar Heels (5-1) are no stranger to his style.

“That Peerman kid, it seems like he’s been there forever – five, six years, it seems like,’’ UNC linebacker Mark Paschal said.

Actually, it’s five (he redshirted in 2004). But it’s not surprising that it may seem like longer for the Tar Heels.

Last year, he shredded UNC’s defense for 186 yards and a touchdown in Virginia’s 22-20 win. In 2006, he had five carries for 32 yards as a reserve during the Tar Heels' 23-0 loss. He also carried 11 times as a freshman, but only for 4 yards. UNC won that game 7-5.

“ He’s a really good running back, he’s one of the tougher runners that we play,’’ Paschal said. “Not one person is going to bring that guy down; he does a lot of things really well, he catches the ball well. But yards after contact is what I’ve really seen on film from that guy; he’s a tough competitor and he’s somebody we’re going to have to take a good look at this week.”

The Tar Heels are giving up 132.5 rushing yards per game this season.

Peerman is averaging 75.8 rushing yards per game, and has scored four rushing touchdowns.

-- Robbi Pickeral

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