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North Carolina Tar Heels Betting – 2011 North Carolina Tar Heels College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/13/2011 6:38:54 PM
north carolina tar heels betting

It’s a period of uncertainty in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heel football program, whose coach, Butch Davis, should frankly be on the unemployment line, is soon going to get whacked by the NCAA for a raft of violations that were committed a few years ago and have been affirmed by subsequent reportage. MLB baseball betting analysts don’t need to know much about college football – they can easily sense that times are tough for the Tar Heels.

After being little more than a game manager for much of his career, North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates become a weapon throwing the ball in 2010, throwing for 3,418 yards and 19 touchdowns. After four years as a starter, Yates’ time is finally up and the quarterback job falls to sophomore Bryn Renner, who attempted just two passes last year. The Heels won’t expect Renner to pick up where Yates left, instead, in offensive coordinator John Shoop’s pro style offense, Carolina will run the ball often and rely on the play action passing game. They won’t need a 3,000 yard season from Renner to be successful, and they won’t expect one from him either. If he can make the occasional big play through the air and avoid turning the ball over, the offense will lean on its other weapons to get by.

There is skill position talent for Renner and offense to work with, if it can stay healthy. Ryan Houston, a very big running back (6’2, 245), returns from injury, hoping to make the most of his senior season. Without him, the Heels turned to a backfield by committee, all of which have now graduated. If Houston stays healthy, he can be a 20+ carries per game back that Shoop loves to use. Receivers Jheranie Boyd and Dwight Jones return. Jones led the team with 62 catches for 946 yards and while those numbers will likely dip, he’s still a reliable target for Renner. Three of five returning starters on the offensive line should give the offense a chance to run the ball well and slowly break Renner in.

After losing Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn before the season, Davis was forced to play inexperienced players along the defensive line. All sports betting students saw this reality unfold. The results were rough early on, but the fruit of their sacrifice will be enjoyed this year as now the Heels return all four starters and six experienced defensive linemen. Led by senior defensive end Quinton Coples, the Heels could field one of the best defensive lines in the ACC. Coples has the attention of NFL scouts, but also the NCAA as he is the center of a new probe into the interaction of players and agents at North Carolina. If he’s cleared, the Carolina defense could be stellar. If they lose yet another premier pass rusher in the offseason, it would be a big blow.

The only real question for Carolina’s defense is in the secondary. Only cornerback Charles Brown returns from a stellar 2010 secondary. Tre Boston is a young safety that saw some playing time as a freshman and now takes over the strong safety spot while senior Matt Merletti takes over at free safety. Overall the secondary returns five players who saw playing time last year. The good news is, whoever is in coverage can count on an aggressive pass rush making their jobs a whole lot easier.

The Heels’ schedule is challenging, but not overwhelming for a team trying to break in a brand new quarterback. Facing James Madison, Rutgers, and Virginia to open the season should give them a chance to build some momentum early. October should be a little more difficult when they face Louisville, Miami, and travel to Clemosn in a three week stretch. The Heels must go to NC State but get a week off to prepare for a November trip to Blacksburg to face highly-regarded Virginia Tech. If you want to make a shrewd sports bet, keep Carolina in the middle of the ACC, but don’t expect this team to win the ACC Coastal Division. 

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