North Carolina Tar Heels (11-3) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (10-3) North Carolina Tar Heels (11-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 3, 2016, 5:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels +3.5 -- Over/Under: 57
The Georgia Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels face off on Saturday in Atlanta as they open their 2016 college football seasons.
The Georgia Bulldogs are hoping to emerge as a contender following a down year that resulted in a new Head Coach as Kirby Smart takes over for Mark Richt. Georgia QB Greyson lambert is back but the passing game was unimpressive last season. UGA has depth at running back but Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are both dinged up so likely Brendan Douglas will see plenty of action. Terry Goodwin is back a receiver for the Bulldogs while tight end Jeb Blazevich is a good one. Georgia’s defense returns the entire secondary that was tops in the nation against the pass but the schedule was run heavy and they didn’t play the toughest of the SEC. The Georgia defensive front seven has no experience but has a ton of upside led by Trent Thompson in the middle of the defensive line. It was really the Georgia offense that was bad last season and Smart is a defensive coach so while expectations are high, they might be ahead of themselves.
The North Carolina Tar Heels are missing some big pieces from last year’s team but they still look to be loaded and ready to make another run in the ACC. Mitch Trubisky takes over at QB for UNC and while he was mobile has also completed 40 of his 47 passes. North Carolina is loaded at running back with Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan providing a powerful tandem. Along with the four returning starters on the Tar Heels offensive line they are also loaded at receiver with Ryan Switzer, Mack Hollins and Bug Howard. The North Carolina defense was a sieve against the run but they are hoping Nazir Jones and Andre Smith can solidify the front seven. Safety Donnie Miles helps support the UNC run defense while M.J. Stewart and Des Lawrence are dependable corners. North Carolina isn’t short on talent and with their quick offense they will be a challenge for opposing defenses.
Georgia is 4-1 against the spread against the ACC, 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 non-conference games, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games. North Carolina is 0-4 against the spread in their last four neutral site games, 2-7 against the spread in September, and 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 non-conference games.
UNC struggles to stop the run and the Georgia defense will have their hands full as well so I see plenty of points being scored in this one so my free pick is on the over.