Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels football team are back at work this spring and to continue with my four corners edition from basketball season this is the first installment of Cover Four dedicated to four topics in UNC football as well as topics relevant to college football across the country.
One: The Tar Heels allowed teams to convert 37% of their third down conversions in 2012, but this can be attributed to their success on first down. Too often North Carolina allowed opponents to be successful on first down setting up manageable third down attempts. For North Carolina to improve in this area the defensive line has to create more pressure on the quarterbacks as well as clogging up running lanes on early downs.
Two: North Carolina average 64 penalty yards in 2012 as opposed to opponents 54 yards each game. Many of North Carolina’s penalties were mental mistakes as opposed to physical mistakes you may expect with a new scheme. The Tar Heels need to shore up the mental mistakes on both sides of the ball.
Three: North Carolina was plus seven in the turnover department and with Bryn Renner leading the offense you expect the senior to take of the ball. The Tar Heels fumbled 16 times losing 11 and with Gio Bernard leaving for the NFL AJ Blue and Romar Morris are going to counted on to take care of the football. The defense is still a work in progress and giving opponents a short field does not place them in situations to be successful. Ball security could be the difference in winning and losing the Coastal division.
Four: The Tar Heel offense was minus seven each game in time of possession and with the pace Larry Fedora operates that is to be expected however the Tar Heels only scored 81% of their possessions in the red zone as opposed to 86% for opponents. The field goal team was 17-22 on the year and several manageable attempts were missed. Thomas Moore needs to improve in his accuracy this year after filling in for injured Casey Barth.