posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM
We’re previewing the college football season with help from SBNation.com. Today, TH from Carolina March talks North Carolina.
Larry Fedora enters his first season as the Tar Heels head coach, and the schedule couldn’t be more favorable. North Carolina has one of the easiest schedules this season, ranked 85th by Phil Steele. Their toughest tests will be home matchups with Virginia Tech (Oct. 6) and Georgia Tech on Homecoming (Nov. 10).
2011 Record: 7-6
2011 Bowl: Independence Bowl, Loss vs. Missouri, 41-24
2012 Bowl Projections:
Orlando Bowl History
Describe the 2011 season in two words.
"What now?" That was my response to basically every bit ‘o news out of the program, from Butch Davis' firing to the self-sanctions to the late season losses to the injuries down the stretch. You had no idea what was coming on any given day, both good or bad.
Bryn Renner’s efficiency stats last year were among the best in the country. How can he improve as a quarterback in2012?
Be less conservative. Not that the play-calling last year wasn't good for him; it helped ease him into a starting role after backing up a QB who rewrote most of the records at UNC, but opposing defenses could still play tight without too much risk of being burnt. Of course, with a new, high-octane offense this season,that probably won't be a concern.
On paper, what looks like the toughest game this season?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say N.C. State. Carolina is riding a long losing streak against the Wolfpack, and they'll meet at the end of a rough October for the Heels. State should be contending for the Atlantic, and have a decent chance of being 7-0 or 6-1 coming into Chapel Hill. Also difficult, of course, will be the two Techs.
Should we expect to see many “growing pains” as the team adapts to Larry Fedora’s style?
Almost certainly. It's an entirely new play book on one side of the ball, and we still don't know who will be calling the plays.
Since a bowl trip is off the table,what’s the benchmark for success this year?
Eight wins was barrier Butch Davis could never get UNC to exceed, even with a bowl game, so an 8-4 record this year would definitely show the team isn't going to break stride. Ending the losing streak to N.C. State would also fall well into the success column on the ledger. If they get Gio Bernard the ACC rushing title as well, then I'm ecstatic.