North Carolina Tar Heels 2023 College Football Preview
July 11, 2023
Record – 9-5
ATS – 6-7-1
The Tar Heels ripped through the majority of the schedule and started out with a mark of 9-1. Five of those victories (!) were by three points or less, so maybe those close shaves were a HARBINGER of things to come? North Carolina was upset by Georgia Tech and NC State to end the regular season but they still made the ACC Championship Game. The mighty Clemson Tigers smoked them in that affair (L 39-10) and they finished things up with a loss to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl (L 28-27). And so it is that North Carolina rolls into 2023 on a four-game skid.
North Carolina Tar Heels 2023 Outlook
It looks like North Carolina has found another great QB.
Drake Maye was one of the best players in college football last season and he put up some eye-popping stats during his first full season (4,321, 38-7 TD to INT; 698 rush, 7 TD). Maye won’t be happy to know that he lost a pair of NFL DCs at WR (Downs, Green) who combined for over 1,800 yards and 18 TDs LY, but at least the Tar Heels did a good job in the transfer portal. Devontez Walker (Kent St) and Nate McCollum (Jackets) should both slide right into the starting lineup. The RB room is one of the deepest in the country and they’ll come at you in waves. The OL looks great with the return of four starters and they boast over 130 career starts amongst the group. This is an elite offense that will SCORE the FOOTBALL a lot.
The Tar Heels have been poor on defense for a few years now and 2022 was a DEBACLE (#12 ACC run defense, dead last pass efficiency defense). They didn’t do much in the PENETRATION department either and only managed to tally 17 sacks (last ACC). There’s hope for turning things around as they retain eight starters on this side of the football as well as their top-five tacklers. Three starters are back up front and they’ve got decent size, but can they get to the QB? The LB unit is set with the return of a pair (!) of 100-tackle machines in Cedric Gray (12 TFL) and Power Echols, and the secondary gets a nice talent upgrade thru the transfer portal. We expect a much better performance on defense and they’ve got the potential to be really good if they can find two or three dangerous PENETRATORS. Stay tuned.
Punter Ben Kiernan is one of the best in the conference (46.8) and George Pettaway averaged 31.6 yards on KR LY. It was a solid move to poach Ryan Coe to handle the PK duties this season (19-23 FG LY with Bearcats). Unfortunately, the Tar Heels will need to find a replacement for dangerous PR Josh Downs.
Overall – They’ve got some tricky non-conference games to deal with (South Carolina, App St, Minnesota) but at least all three of those BAD BOYS are at home. They miss Florida St in ACC play but finish the season with a pair of tough road games (Clemson, NC State).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Minnesota (Sept 16)
It’s not unthinkable that the Tar Heels could be looking ahead to their yuuuuge ACC opener the following week (at Pittsburgh). It doesn’t look like a great spot to lay the points, particularly if they end up having to use a lot of energy to beat Appalachian St on Sept 9 (see last year).
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 11
Over 8.5 +105
Under 8.5 -135
Slight LEANAGE to the ‘over’ but it might be a better idea to play them in the ACC futures market. We’ll be hunting for a flat ‘8’ as that would almost certainly be a GO number.
HC Mack Brown has an excellent 61-27-1 record at home with the Tar Heels but he’s just 33-35 in true road games.
Charlotte is the most populous city in the GREAT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA and the 2nd largest banking center in the USA after New York City **.
** Charlotte is on the fast track to be #1 after the Communists, hoodlums, and degenerate scum completely destroy New York City ^^
^^ fact check: highly likely
This could be the year. AMIRITE?
Everything appears to be in place for a legit run at the ACC Championship. The offense will be phenomenal and it’ll be up to the defense to not only improve from PURE FILTH, but actually become a legitimate ACC stop unit. The conference schedule is manageable and it’s not like Clemson and Florida St are unbeatable. Our SPIDEY SENSES ARE TINGLING with anticipation over the November 18th battle at Clemson as that game will likely determine a spot in the title game. Go Heels!