College Football News Preview 2020: North Carolina Tar Heels Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The North Carolina Tar Heels Offense
Balance out the offense with the running game to open things up for Sam Howell and the passing attack – and vice versa.
The ground game was just fine-to-great even when the team started to struggle in the Larry Fedora era. The running backs are deep and good, the offensive line can generate a bit of a push, and when everything is working on the ground, everything will work with the offense.
UNC ran for over 200 yards five times last season and won all five games. Howell was too good and the receivers too strong in the red zone, but the offense only came up with four touchdowns in the first ten games before scoring nine in the final three.
Biggest Key To The North Carolina Tar Heels Defense
As the pass defense went, so went the Tar Heels. The secondary returns deep and loaded, and the pass rush should show up. Now the pass defense has to do its part.
The Tar Heels had big, big problems generating big plays in previous seasons – coming up with 15 picks from 2016 to 2018 – but the came up with 14 interceptions last year. When they made two or more, they were 5-0, and were 2-6 when coming away with fewer.
More than that, it was about not letting passers get into a groove. UNC was 5-0 when it allowed fewer than 200 yards passing.
Key North Carolina Tar Heels Player To A Successful Season
DL Tomari Fox, Soph.
It’s the team’s biggest hole to fill. The defensive tackles are gone after a strong year, and the front three overall needs a little reworking. Tomari Fox – his brother, Tomon, is a dangerous pass rushing linebacker – got his feet wet as a freshman with 12 tackles and a few plays behind the line, but now he’s the wild-card.
The 278-pounder isn’t a massive tackle, but he could see time on the nose, or he could grow into a pass rushing 3-4 end. There needs to be explosion up front – he could provide it.
Key Game To The North Carolina Tar Heels Season
at Virginia, Oct. 3
Assuming the Tar Heels don’t biff the home game against Georgia Tech, they can take charge of the ACC Coastal race early on by beating Virginia four the first time in four years. With Virginia Tech in Chapel Hill right after, there’s a shot they can put a stranglehold on the division by mid-October. Lose, and there’s a problem with a trip to Miami a few weeks later to deal with.
– North Carolina Tar Heels Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 North Carolina Fun Stats
– 4th Quarter Scoring: North Carolina 120 – Opponents 51
– Fumbles: Opponents 19 (lost 6) – North Carolina 16 (lost 5)
– 4th Down Conversions: North Carolina 15-of-23 (65%) – Opponents 8-of-16 (50%)