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

Posted by on 7/27/2011 5:53:39 PM
north carolina tar heels betting

The Virginia Tech Hokies, the defending ACC Coastal Division champions, are not going to be quite as formidable in 2011 as they were last season. However, the North Carolina Tar Heels, who had the talent to topple Virginia Tech last season, find themselves in a similarly depleted situation this year. It’s just that kind of reality for a program that’s soon to face the NCAA hammer. As sports betting experts would tell you, North Carolina is not a football program to trust, especially not this year. The violations committed under the watch of head coach Butch Davis are likely to be met with appreciably significant NCAA sanctions. The 2011 season might be the last one for a few years in which the Tar Heels can play in the postseason. Even MLB baseball betting gurus know this. At any rate, the Tar Heels will try to make the most of things with some new faces.

After being little more than a game manager for much of his career, former North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates become a weapon 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 all of two passes last year. The Heels won’t expect Renner to pick up where Yates left. Under offensive coordinator John Shoop, Carolina will run the ball often. The Tar Heels won’t need a 3,000-yard season from Renner to be successful. If he can make the occasional big play through the air and avoid turning the ball over, the offense will lean on other weapons to get the job done.

There is skill position talent for Renner and offense to work with, if it can stay healthy. Ryan Houston, a very big running back, returns from injury. If Houston stays healthy, he can be a 20-carries-per-game back. 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.

After losing Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn before the season, Davis was forced to play inexperienced players along the defensive line. The results were not very pretty in the early part of the season, but the fruit of that development will be enjoyed this year; the Heels return all four starters and six seasoned linemen.

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 who will take over the strong safety spot while senior Matt Merletti becomes the new free safety. Overall the secondary returns five players who saw playing time last year. Whoever is in coverage can count on an aggressive pass rush, making their jobs a lot easier.

The Heels’ schedule is challenging, but it’s not overwhelming – not for a team trying to break in a brand new quarterback. Facing James Madison, Rutgers, and Virginia to open the season should give UNC a chance to build momentum. October should be a little more difficult when the Tar Heels lock horns with Louisville, Miami, and Clemson in a three-week span. The Heels must go to NC State but get a week off to prepare for a November trip to Blacksburg to face ACC Coastal favorite Virginia Tech. A logical sports bet would tab Carolina to win seven or eight games this season, but not enough to win its division.

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