Saturday, September 8, 2012

UNC at Wake Forest: Live from the press box

WINSTON-SALEM — And welcome to BB&T Field, which will always be Groves Stadium to me. We’re a little less than two hours from North Carolina’s game here today against Wake Forest. And of course, it is the ACC opener for both teams.
As I look out over my laptop and out of the press box, I see puffy gray clouds and a pale blue sky. Rain and thunderstorms could be a possibility today, folks. Brace yourself for the possibility of the two most dreaded words for any college football beat hack: lightning delay.
Let’s hope not.
In the meantime, a couple pregame thoughts here from Winston-Salem:
--Giovani Bernard. Will he play or won’t he? Increasing speculation surrounding Bernard suggests that the injury that forced him out of the game against Elon might be more serious than both he and coach Larry Fedora have indicated. That wouldn’t be surprising, given Fedora’s policy of not disclosing much – or anything, really – about injuries. I asked Tar Heels football spokesman Kevin Best about Bernard’s status and he replied with, “He’s here.” But will he play? And if he does, will he be limited? We’ll soon find out.
--Obviously, the Demon Deacons should represent a more difficult test for the Heels, who weren’t tested during their 62-0 victory against the Phoenix last week. But how much more difficult? Wake’s offense struggled last week against Liberty, an FCS team that led the Deacs in the second half. Wake’s offensive line is a work in progress, and the Tar Heels should have an advantage there. But the Deacs are sound defensively, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Heels’ spread offense responds to their first challenge of the season.
So there you have it.
As I wrote yesterday, I think UNC prevails today. I said 30-23, but wouldn’t be surprised if it were more lopsided. We shall see ...

--Andrew Carter