What to expect from the Civil War Classic


Michael Smith

The Mustang’s unique 3-3 stack provides a schematic challenge for the Warriors

Michael Smith, Sports editor

The NC Warrior football team will finish up the regular season and attempt to secure  home field advantage in week one of the playoffs in the Civil War Classic against the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs on November 4.

The cross-town rivals will play the fifteenth game in the series at Kennesaw Mountain. Over the course of the series the Warriors boast a 12-2 record and have won the last 5 meetings. Last season, NC won 28-7 to secure a playoff spot. This season the Mustangs plan to finish with their third win of the season, but the team has improved over its last few seasons.

Offensively, Kennesaw Mountain will load up with a multitude of tight ends and running back and attempt to force the ball down the opponents throats and limit turnovers. The Mustang offense relies on sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guest, a decent athlete who generally provides accurate balls for his receivers in the short passing game. The offense’s best player, sophomore Ryland Goede (#10), should provide the Warrior’s defense its biggest challenge. The division 1 recruit weighs in at 6’5” and 235 pounds, boasts offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Tennessee, and will occasionally line up as a wildcat quarterback and attempt to run the ball.

Defensively, the Mustangs line up in a “3-3” stack, with three defensive linemen, one “0” nose tackle directly across from the center, and two “5” technique defensive ends that will align slightly outside the offensive tackles. The defense puts three linebackers directly behind each lineman in an attempt to complicate blocking angles for the offense and keep the linebackers free to run and chase the ball. The Mustangs will place the backers deep off the ball, with the middle linebacker aligned at 6 yards as opposed to the standard 4-5, which allows senior Justin Scott, #40, Coach Scott of Kennesaw Mountain’s son, to chase the ball and attempt to add on to tackles. The defense will plays almost primarily single high coverage, primarily cover one, putting its defensive backs in man-to-man coverage and one deep safety to try and prevent deep passes. Up front, Kennesaw Mountain will stunt, rotate, and move its defensive linemen and linebackers around, occasionally standing everyone up  to try and generate a pass rush and confuse blockers.

Expect a tough start to the game — the Mustangs will feel fed up with the Warriors’ continued dominance in the series — and expect Kennesaw Mountain’s seniors to try and upset on their senior night and try to avoid falling into a “same old-same old” mentality and give in to a potential domination by the Warriors.

The Chant’s prediction: NC: 35, Kennesaw Mountain: 13