WR Focus: Dropped Balls

Mitchell - 5 rec, 152 yds

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – As the North Carolina rushing offense tries to find itself, an unlikely position group is surprisingly in the midst of a similar predicament. Granted when the Tar Heels are able to break out of its doldrums running the football, things should open up more for their talented corps of receivers. Meanwhile, and at a bad time, UNC pass catchers have a sudden case of the "dropsies."

Audio: WALLACE WRIGHT (4:29)

On Monday, receivers coach Dave Brock sat down with the entire position group and watched the film of the Wisconsin game. Every player, whether in on the play or not, graded each teammate's effort level on every snap with a plus or a minus.

"There were a lot of minuses," senior wide receiver Wallace Wright said. "Coach Brock tells us all of the time we're going to have to be the backbone of the offense in order for us to win.

"We have a couple of inexperienced backs running the football, so we're going to have to be the most experienced people on offense, and we're going to have to uphold our end and carry the offense on Saturday."

John Bunting called out all of his wide receivers for their inconsistent play to this point in the season, and pointed again to the "missed opportunities," or in this case, dropped passes.

"We've got to snatch those balls – too much body catching," Bunting said. "We've got to pluck that ball."

This week in practice, Brock will have his players focus on securing the ball before they try and run with it.

"We do a lot more ball drills now," Wright said. "Everyone knows we had a bad game."

Jesse Holley leads the team in receptions with nine catches for 142 yards, while Derrele Mitchell has the most total yardage with 152 yards on five grabs (87 came on one touchdown scoring play at Georgia Tech). Wright and Jarwarski Pollock each have five receptions as well for 97 and 74 yards, respectively.

As a unit, they're averaging 280.5 yards per game receiving, so it's not like the UNC passing game has disappeared. It's just that while the running attack gets on track, more will likely be expected from not only the receivers, but the tight ends and offensive line as well.

"We have the ability to have a very potent offense," Bunting said. "I think this can be an elite [wide receivers] class, but they haven't shown it yet."

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