Monday, August 2, 2010

North Carolina Tar Heels

2009 Record: 8-5 (4-4)
Head Coach: Butch Davis (20-18 4th season...71-38 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: John Shoop (4th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Everett Withers (3rd Season)
2009 Bowl Game: Meineke Bowl, Lost to Pittsburgh 19-17

Offense: The QB situation at UNC is highly unstable right now. TJ Yates has been the starter, but has never impressed anyone. He is being pushed hard by redshirt freshman Bryn Renner, who is already acting as if he owns the job. He is a cocky kid with a bunch of talent, where Yates is unsure and doesn't always act like a rock star QB on the field. Shawn Droughn is the starter at RB, but he did little to impress in 2009, only rushing for 567 yards, leaving the running game in uncertainty as well. Whomever the QB ends up being will have solid wideouts to toss the ball to. Greg Little had 62 grabs a year ago, and Erik Highsmith is dynamic. Jheranie Boyd has incredible speed and Dwight Jones is a former 5 star recruit who is just getting his head out of his ass and is starting to produce. The line is solid with 4 starters returning. Freshman James Hurst (LT) is the lone new guy on the line, but do you really want a freshman to be your QB's blind side protection?

Defense: There are very few questions in this group. There are only two new starters, with 9 returnees. That being said, UNC is under investigation for allegations that star DT Marvin Austin has had some involvement with agents, ala Reggie Bush at USC. That could screw the entire focus of the 2010 season up, and this issue will linger right into the season and beyond. All of the LB's return and the secondary returns intact as well for a defense that only gave up just over 17 points per game in 2009. The defense has to be solid again, because it doesn't look like the offense is entirely together.

Special Teams: Junior Casey Barth returns after a fine 2009 season as PK. He hit on 21 of 25 FGs last season, and is establishing himself as one of the top kickers in the country. Grant Scallock is the punter, but is really nothing special. Da'Norris Searcy is the kick returner, but was brand new to returning kicks in college last season, and there was a learning curve.

2010 Schedule

Wins: 9/25 @ Rutgers, 10/2 East Carolina, 10/9 Clemson, 10/16 @ Virginia, 10/30 William & Mary, 11/27 @ Duke

Toss Up Games: 9/4 LSU (@ Atlanta), 11/20 NC State

Losses: 9/18 Georgia Tech, 10/23 @ Miami, 11/6 @ Florida State, 11/13 Virginia Tech

This schedule is quite difficult with 8 bowl teams from 2009. The Tar Heels will have to pick up 7 wins in order to qualify for a bowl, and that could be a very difficult task with this slate. LSU is a neutral game, but one would expect many Tar Hell fans at the Georgia Dome for this game. The NC State game should be a win, but the Pack gets up for UNC every year, and that game is rarely a gimme.

Outlook: Many people in the MSM (mainstream media) love this UNC team, but I'm a realist, and I think that Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Miami are all better teams than UNC, despite the Tar Heel's potential on defense. The Marvin Austin thing can be a major distraction, the QB situation is anything but settled, and there is next to no real run game. The offense was just horrible at times in 2009, scoring 12 against UConn, 7 against Georgia Tech, 3 against Virginia, and under 20 against Pitt and Duke. That's nothing to get hyped over. Butch Davis has underperformed in my opinion, especially given the recruiting hauls that he has pulled in. He really needs to exceed expectations this season, or people will start to wonder.

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