KYNDRAUS GUY – Audio (16:21)
“Quickness is the biggest part of Kyndraus’ game as far as his technique,” UNC coach John Bunting said during his weekly press conference. “But his motor and his desire to play well is a big part also.”
Guy and senior defensive end Tommy Davis have three sacks apiece.
Through the first five games, UNC has 16 sacks – an average of 3.2 per game – good enough this week for second in the ACC and 14th in the country. After failing to record a sack in the season opener at Georgia Tech, Carolina had four sacks against Wisconsin, six against N.C. State and four against Utah. Last year, the Tar Heels tallied just 20 sacks all season.
Guy rotates with Shelton Bynum aside Chase Page at tackle. He had three tackles and was credited with two sacks in the win over the Utes, and he assisted on three tackles and broke up a pass against the Wolfpack. His first career sack – for minus-11 yards – came against the Badgers.
After finishing 100th or worse in each of the last three seasons, UNC’s defensive unit is ranked 65th in the nation, allowing 375.6 yards per game.
“We want to be a better team than last year and we want to be a Top 25 defense,” Guy said.
Back in 2003, Bunting initially hoped Guy would be willing to burn his redshirt, because he thought the Hope Mills South View true freshman could help out right away.
Politely, Guy said no. And then did it again.
“I asked him on three occasions if he would be willing to join us and help us,” Bunting said. “I told him that if he didn’t want to, that was fine. After I got turned down once, I waited a couple of weeks and asked him again and I got turned down a second time.”
So, Coach Bunting, are you happy now he did redshirt?
“Yes I am,” answered Bunting.
“It was a personal decision,” Guy said, as he took a deep breath to remember the loss of a childhood friend about that time.
When asked to provide more details, Guy took a long pause and simply said, “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I just didn’t want to do anything,” he continued.
Bunting said, “[Kyndraus] is a guy that works harder than anybody else. He is constantly working to get better. He has a really quick first step and he has a great football mentality, but he has a tremendous work ethic. He’s not the biggest guy around and he’s only going to get better.”
That drive has enabled Guy to begin to reach his potential. He’s also become comfortable at tackle, although he is a little undersized at 6-foot-2, 275 pounds. He gets so fired up for a game that at times he becomes overwhelmed just before kickoff.
“He gets emotional before a ballgame,” Bunting said. “There are times when I’ll hear somebody crying before a game, and I look around and it’s him. He’s excited about playing. He gets fired up.”
Lately Guy has been thinking about another experience that caused him great distress – last year’s 56-24 loss to the Cavaliers in Charlottesville. In that game, the Tar Heels’ defense surrendered 549 yards of offense – 299 via the run.
“That was heartbreaking, but we were a different squad and a different team,” Guy said. “We were young and inexperienced. Most of us were undersized.”
Again, it appears UNC will catch its “biggest out-of-state rival,” as Bunting puts it, coming off one of its biggest wins in years – a 26-21 upset of then-fourth-ranked Florida State last Saturday.
UVa quarterback Marques Hagans threw for a career-best 306 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’ve never seen a quarterback make as many one-man plays as he made tonight,” FSU coach Bobby Bowden said after the game. “We couldn’t stop that dadgum No. 18.”
Guy and the rest of the Tar Heels defense have been scouring over the game tape, and in particular, Hagans’ performance.
“We have to keep Hagans in the pocket,” Guy said. “When he gets outside, he is a dangerous guy. I saw he made a lot of plays when he rolled to his right. Whenever he’s in the pocket, he doesn’t look to stay there. He can’t see over his lineman.”