UNC Football: The First Play of the Season


September1st the Tar Heels will open their college football season with Elon University on Labor day weekend as they have in many years before with varying opponents.  I cannot tell you what play was called on the first down of any season, but Blake Anderson and Larry Fedora need to have something better than a dive up the middle.

Fans from the upper deck would start screaming we haven’t thrown a pass all year, is Moody back calling plays, is Marshall bringing a fat back attack?  The first play needs to set the tone for the year.  All of this is complete BS, but hey it is July and I have nothing better to talk about.  So what play should Coach Fedora begin his era with?  I will break down five plays I believe they could start the year with that will have me cheering for more.  Then again the fullback dive is vanilla and may catch the defense napping to start the season.

Option Number One: Bubble Screen to TJ Thorpe

The bubble screen is safe, but at the same time it puts the ball in an explosive play maker’s hands to start the season.  The result could be a positive gain, or a touchdown.  Chances of this play being called: 22%

Option Number Two: Deep Post to Erik Highsmith

Nothing gets the crowd more on edge than a deep bomb to open a game as well as a near miss.  Even an incompletion on a long pass fires the crowd up more than a successful 4 yard rush.  This play is set up by a little play action from Gio Bernard, and the chances of this being the first play are 18%.

Option Number Three: Inside Zone to Gio Bernard

When you have an all-ACC back good coaching is to give it to him early and often.  Sometimes coaches get to tricky in calling plays and forget that the other team has failed to stop a basic pee-wee play.  The odds of Bernard getting the ball to begin the game are high and we will set this option at 34%.

Option Number four: Deep bomb to Eric Ebron

This may seem like an odd choice, but the Tar heels are spreading the field horizontally with the spread look, they are forcing the defense to stay honest toward the run with Bernard leaving Ebron matched up on a safety over the middle. With a little action Ebron even at his size could get lost after some play action and is a huge target for Renner over the middle.  This is a play that typically is set up after a few series so the chances of this being play number one is 13%.

Option Number five: Half Back pass by AJ Blue

This play is one of my favorite and having a former high school and college quarterback as the passer makes it even more exciting to think about for the first play of the season. Forget success of the play in this moment. What a play like this tells the fan base is the coach has the cahones to roll the dice which is what you need if you ever want to win a championship.  Bill Parcells  sometimes is branded with conservative, but he is the same guy who went for on fourth down in the super bowl.  The chances of this play starting the UNC season is only 7%.

Option number six: Hit Holden Thorp

You may be asking yourself what in the heck does Holden Thorp have to do with the first play of the season.  Well if Fedora callsfor Renner to sling a pass right off of Thorp’s forehead he will have done two things.  One he will show he is no puppet for the UNC administration, and two we can finally get over our angerat Thorp.  Seriously how can I be angry at a man who just took a football off his head on opening day.  Was i mad at the timing of Butch’s firing? Sure I was, but he was apart of hiring Coach Fedora and lets face it Butch needed to go.  Thorp is guilty of bad timing and that is it.  I can only dream of this play happening, but since I follow Fedora on twitter maybe there is a chance he runs it.  Here is to 6% chance Holden Thorp is Bryna Renner’s only incompletion September 1st.

As always you can follow the Haley and MandMsportshow on twitter @MandMSportshow and you can read more articles from Haley at The Water Cooler.