North Carolina vs. California Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the North Carolina vs. California fearless prediction and game preview.
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Game Time: 12:20 pm ET
Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Network: ACC Network
North Carolina (0-0) vs. California (0-0) Game Preview
Good for you, North Carolina and California.
The two programs have never played each other before, and this is just the type of cross-country, out-of-region game that might seem a little quirky, but Power Five programs should do more often.
It just so happens, though, that both teams are in massive rebuilding modes.
North Carolina should still be strong in the ACC Coastal chase, but it lost the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft in Mitchell Trubisky, along with a whole slew of other key parts from a team good enough to beat Florida State last season.
Cal is dealing with a bigger change, entering into the Justin Wilcox era in the attempt to be tougher defensively and more balanced on offense.
It’ll be a tough reboot for the Bears to be amazing right away, but if they win, all of a sudden the Pac-12 would get a huge upset win – something it didn’t have a lot of in non-conference play last year.
And with Louisville up next, it would be a disaster for North Carolina.
One Reason Why California Will Win
Do the Tar Heels have the offensive pieces in place yet?
If LSU transfer Brandon Harris is your answer at quarterback, you probably didn’t like the question, and now he has to prove he can be far better than he was in Baton Rouge.
Worse yet, he has to be great with a whole slew of new receivers and a very, very iffy group of young running backs.
No one’s expecting miracles right away from the Cal defense, but it should be far better with former Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter taking over the defensive coordinator duties and with Wilcox – a defensive-minded coach – instantly toughening up this group.
Experience isn’t a problem in the 3-4 alignment.
One Reason Why North Carolina Will Win
The experience on defense – especially in the back seven – should be enough to survive.
Picking off passes was an issue – the Tar Heels came up with just one last season – but the secondary should turn into a bit of a strength with good talent and big-hitting safeties.
Meanwhile, the linebacking corps will be a rock with Andre Smith in the middle and Cole Holcomb on the outside. Running the ball on the Tar Heels – at least by this Cal team – will be a problem.
What’s Going To Happen
It might not be one of those big national radar games, but it’ll be interesting.
Cal could be a whole lot better than it’s being given credit for, and it’s going to be sound enough, experienced enough, and good enough to push past the Tar Heels if they aren’t sharp.
Harris will be fine, and the offense will be just good enough to survive against a Cal offense that’ll still be able to throw well. Expect to be entertained, and if you’re a UNC fan, really, really worried for a full four quarters.
North Carolina vs. California Prediction
North Carolina 34, California 30
North Carolina -11 o/u: 54
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