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North Carolina Football Predictions

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In the first season under head coach Larry Fedora, North Carolina finished up with an 8-4 record and earned a share of the ACC Coastal title. Had the Tar Heels been eligible for postseason play they would have faced off against Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.

It didn’t take long for Fedora to have an impact on the offensive side of the ball. North Carolina averaged an impressive 40.6 ppg and 486 yards of total offense. A big improvement from the year before when they managed just 28.0 ppg and 393 yards of total offense.

The Tar Heels got monster seasons out of junior quarterback Bryn Renner and junior running back Giovani Bernard. Renner completed 65.4% of his attempts for 3,356 yards with 28 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Bernard rushed for a conference-best 1,228 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Unfortunately for North Carolina, Bernard decided to leave early for the NFL.

Fedora could have a difficult time matching last year’s success. North Carolina was +7 in the turnover department, their highest mark in four years. Not only does the offense lose an elite back, but they must replace three of the five starters on the offensive line. Defensively the Tar Heels return seven starters, but they lose all three starters at linebacker along with star defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.

Last Season
ACC (Coastal)
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
T-1st
8-4
6-6
8-3
40.6
25.7
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
13
6
7
3.535
21st
60th
Head Coach Larry Fedora
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
34-31
32-31-2
19-11
15-14-1
13-18
16-14-1
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
2-2
1-3
3-3
3-3
9-19
10-17-1
2013 Schedule
2013 North Carolina Tar Heels Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/29 @ South Carolina
+12
0.20
9/7 Middle Tennessee
-21
1
9/21 @ Georgia Tech
+4.5
0.40
9/28 East Carolina
-15
1
10/5 @ Virginia Tech
+6.5
0.35
10/17 Miami
EVEN
0.50
10/26 Boston College
-17
1
11/2 @ NC State
-2.5
0.57
11/9 Virginia
-8.5
0.76
11/16 @ Pittsburgh
-4
0.66
11/23 Old Dominion
-31
1
11/30 Duke
-14.5
0.90
Estimated Wins: 8.34

The first half of the season could prove to be difficult for the Tar Heels. Sandwiched around a couple of non-conference home games against Middle Tennessee and East Carolina are three brutal road games against South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

If starting ACC play on the road against two of the top teams in the Coastal wasn’t enough, North Carolina’s conference home opener comes against Coastal favorite Miami.

The second half of the season is a bit easier with four of their final six games at home, but they do have to go on the road to face in-state rival NC State and later must travel to Pittsburgh.

North Carolina was just 1-3 on the road in ACC play last season. If they lose at home to Miami, there’s a good possibility this team will be sitting at 3-5 needing to win three of their last four to make a bowl game.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
ACC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
9.5
8 to 1
150 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

Predicting the ACC Coastal wasn’t easy. There’s not a whole lot that separates the four teams at the top, but of those four I think the Tar Heels are the worst of the bunch. In fact, I have North Carolina losing to all three of the contenders in Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami. I also look for them to lose at either NC State or Pittsburgh to finish up at .500 inside the conference.

Offensively I think they will struggle to come close to last year’s numbers. Defenses won’t have to key on the run as much without Bernard in the backfield and Renner doesn’t figure to have as much time to throw with three new starters up front. At the same time I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the defense either. North Carolina allowed 143 ypg on the ground in 2012 and it’s hard to expect that to get any better with the players they lost on the front-seven.

2013 Projections
ACC (Coastal)
ACC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
4th
4-4
7-4
Under (9.5)
North Carolina Football Resources
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