Written and authored by NCAA Football Expert Analyst Greg Nelson. Charliessports.com produces it for Football Betting news and notes.
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The Best Sports Handicapper believes the North Carolina Tar Heels football program is trying to get back to the success they had under Mack Brown and Butch Davis.
Larry Fedora enters his sixth season on the sidelines a the basketball-crazed Institute without the luxury of a starting quarterback and players at the skill positions.
North Carolina went 8-5 in 2016 and upset Florida State and Miami on the road. The 2016 season ended with a Bowl loss to Stanford. They lost to Georgia, Duke, and North Carolina State by a total of seventeen points.
North Carolina opens up the 2017 season at home against California a week later Louisville will visit Kenan Stadium.
Road trips to Coastal Division foes Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh could determine the success of the team in 2017.
However, Florida State and Clemson are not on the regular season schedule this season.
The 2017 North Carolina offense lost NFL second overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky (3,748) passing yards last season.
The unit must also replace Running Back Elijah Hood (858) rushing yards and T.J. Logan (12) touchdowns. Wideout Ryan Switzer (1,112) receiving yards in now a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Bug Howard and Mack Hollins are also no longer available.
Co Offensive Coordinators Gunter Brewer and Chris Kapolovic have their work cut out entering fall camp.
Fedora insists there will be an open quarterback competition with the starter being named before the season opener.
However, there is still a chance they could go with a dual system. The North Carolina offense lost a lot of firepower, but impact transfers could make an immediate difference on the offensive side of the football.
Senior tackle Bentley Spain will anchor an offensive line which returns two other starters from last season.
The key to success for the North Carolina offense is how well the new signal caller performs.
The past two season they have had Marquise Williams and Trubisky under center.
The first year defensive coordinator John Papuchis has his work cut out, especially up front where they ranked 109th in the FBS allowing a little over 227 yards per game rushing.
Defensive Tackle Aaron Crawford has a year of experience under his belt. Ends Malik Carney and Dajaun Drennon did a good job putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks but did little against the run.
Papuchis, a former linebacker coach, will take more chances with linebackers Cole Holcomb and Andre Smith who were two of the team’s leading tacklers last season.
Senior cornerback M.J. Stewart has the talent to play at the next level and should be one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.
Safety Donnie Miles can hit like a linebacker.
Papuchis replaced Gene Chizik who resigned over the winter must have his players in position to make plays.
Bovada.Lv lists the North Carolina Tar Heels at +2,500 to win the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.
Free Betting Odds Prediction: The 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels will go 6-6 and finish fourth in the ACC Coastal, Division.
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