North Carolina Tar Heels 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
2015 Record 11-3
North Carolina Tar Heels 2016 Preview
The North Carolina Tar Heels have a second straight ACC Coastal title within their grasp in 2016.
Overview: Larry Fedora enjoyed the Coastal championship a year ago and finished #15 nationally with an 11-3 record which would have been higher if not for a Bowl loss to Baylor. Many pieces are back so what does UNC do for an encore?
USA TODAY Sports
Offense: With quarterback Marquise Williams taking over 3,000 passing yards and another 1,000+ rushing yards to graduation, Mitch Trubisky takes over under center for the Heels. North Carolina has weapons to help their new quarterback with the receiving trio of Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard and Mack Hollins combining for nearly 1,900 yards with TE Brandon Fritts snagging 16 balls for 203 yards. North Carolina gets back top runner Elijah Hood and his 1,463 yards and impressive 6.7 yard average while TJ Logan is certain to see more of a workload behind an O-Line that returns four starters including All ACC performers Jon Heck and Caleb Peterson.
Defense: The Tar Heels were solid versus the pass but couldn’t stop a leak on the ground so that means another year of experience for ends Dajaun Drennon and Mikey Bart and tackles Nazair Jones and Jeremiah Clarke has to be a good thing. The bad news for UNC are linebackers Shakeel Rashad and Jeff Schoettmer are gone with their 176 stops which leaves Andre Smith and Cayson Collins needing to step up and fill at least some of the void. North Carolina is a bit thin in the secondary but corners Des Lawrence and MJ Stewart are stars with a combined 28 passes defended and six picks.
Special Teams: Joey Mangili returns as the Tar Heels punter with placekicker Nick Weller nailing 16-17 sub 40 yard field goals while going 4-6 on 40+ yard attempts. TJ Logan and Ryan Switzer pace the UNC return game with Switzer recording two scores on punts in 2015.
Outlook: If the Tar Heels prove to be fine at quarterback and the defense remains competitive, it’s not hard to see this team competing for the Coastal crown again and winning it for the second straight time.
9/17 James Madison
10/1 @Florida State
10/8 Virginia Tech
10/15 @Miami (FL)
11/5 Georgia Tech
11/25 NC State