Renner said that he has to continue pushing the pace at the helm of UNC's offense
While UNC’s offense ran 74 total plays in the season opener, Renner explained that wasn’t good enough.
“I got caught just standing there and watching (the play) a couple times. I got an earful from Coach (Larry) Fedora and Anderson about that. I won’t let that happen again.
“It’s a fast-break offense and I have to push the tempo. We have to get up to the line and that starts with me. I can’t be a spectator or I might as well just but a ticket.”
The redshirt junior explained that there’s a team out West the offense would love to emulate with it’s fast-paced play.
“I watched Oregon play later Saturday night and I was embarrassed because we want to play as fast or faster than them,” the Virginia native explained. “Coach Anderson came in the next day and said the same thing. We want to play at that pace and catch the defense by surprise.”
But how hard will it be to move the ball against Wake Forest’s 3-4, zone-blitz defense?
“They’re tough with 3 down linemen and they like to bring zone-blitzes,” he said. “We definitely have our hands full.
“We always want to add new things every week. As far as execution we had a pretty basic game plan but we’ll put some new things in for Wake Forest this week and we’ll continue on as the season progresses. We’ll add different nuances and try to mix it up a little bit.”
Whilock is a force to be reckoned with on the DL
Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson agreed that the discipline of the Demon Deacons defense could make getting his preferred 80 offensive plays in a struggle.
“They play extremely hard with guys flying around,” Anderson explained. “They’re very active up front. Their nose guard (Nikita Whitlock) seems like he’s playing three different positions. You can tell that they’re well coached. They make you make plays and make you be patient. You can tell they’re playing together.”
At a generously listed 5-11, 260-pounds Whitlock is still one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the ACC.
“If he didn’t play as hard as he did it wouldn’t be a big deal but he’s all over the place and is just so active…he’s good at what he does in their system. They give him the freedom to spin, change gaps and move. He’s quick, powerful and for a tall guy (trying to block) he can get under your pads. He creates negative plays by always getting in the backfield so it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”
With the popularity of the 3-4 defense continuing to rise, Anderson divulged that preparing for it isn’t much of an issue as it has been in the past.
“We see that defense quite a bit with more and more teams going to that,” he said. “There are subtle differences as opposed to playing a 4-3. We’re seeing more of it, which allows us to not have to make drastic changes. But we’re our own worst enemy on offense so it’s more about doing what we need to do and not create issues for ourselves.”