While the UNCP football’s team first game back in action in nearly a month didn’t go as planned in terms of the putting points on the board, there were still some not worthy performances that deserve recognition.
Defensive Line Applied Constant Pressure:
The defensive line was disruptive throughout the night and especially in the first quarter.
Not only were they getting great penetration into the backfield to free up their linebackers to make tackles near the line of scrimmage, they were also making plays themselves accounting for
all five of the Braves’ tackles for loss and their lone sack of the night.
Redshirt junior Dominique Davis tied for third in total tackles with six from his defensive tackle spot and sophomore Taye Vereen notched the unit’s only sack on the day as well as logged
Redshirt senior Tyler Hinton was a mainstay in the backfield; setting the edge, eliminating cut back lanes so that rushers couldn’t reverse field, constantly pressuring the quarterback and drawing holding penalties.
Offense Gets Creative with Speedy Receiver:
An intriguing wrinkle that the Braves used in this game that gained yardage and e first down was a couple plays in which redshirt freshman receiver Tyshawn Carter found the ball in his hands.
While the speedy Carter, who leads the team in yards per catch with 19.2 through three games, didn’t register a reception he was still as able to contribute on offense in certain packages.
He lined up in the back field in one instance in what appeared to be an obvious wildcat formation that the Wolves had seen previously seen on tape, but when the ball was snapped instead of taking off or trying to find a rushing lane he opted to drop back and get a quick throw to receiver Eric Price for a three-yard reception.
His most impactful play came on the Braves third drive of the first quarter where he received a pitch from the receiver that was handed the ball on the jet sweep.
Carter took a reverse end-around for an 11-yard gain to the Newberry side of the field.
It fooled nearly the entire and was the first time the Black and Gold crossed into the opponent’s territory.
Park’s Punts Prove to be Lethal:
The Braves other standout performer was unusual projection but usual suspect as redshirt sophomore punter Isaac Parks had a sensational night kicking the ball.
He was an absolute monster first half especially with a pair of punts that pinned the Wolves back deep in their own den, backing them up at their own one-yard line at the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters.
Offensive Line Shows Signs of Improvement:
Even though the unit surrendered three sacks on the night and the offense as a whole barely eclipsed 200 total yards (213) on 59 plays compared to Newberry’s 325 on 65 plays, they
still showed some flashes of promise.
In the first half quarterbacks Josh Jones and Joshua Dale had clean pockets to work with when they were provided ample time to go through their reads, scan the field and make some throws while standing upright.
However, as the game went on and especially in the second half of play, the protection began to spring leaks and the pocket often crumbled rather quickly.
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