UNC Football: Looking Ahead to Next Season’s Opponents


Much speculation has been made about the USC/UNC opening football game next season. However, not enough attention is being paid to studying the rest of the season’s opponents. One opening game does not make or break an entire season for any team in college football. It’s important, but it’s more significant to look at the rest of the schedule and see what UNC will face.


Game #2: Mid Tennessee

What to Exploit: They have a weak passing game and don’t score many points. Last year, the Blue Raiders were 77th in Points For and 78th in Passing Yards. Quarterback Logan Kilgore threw six picks.

What to Watch Out For: Logan Kilgore is a rising senior with knowledge of the schemes and another year of chemistry to build with his teammates. They’re actually a fairly decent run team, too. Rising sophomore Jordan Parker had a big freshman season with 166 attempts for 851 yards and three touchdowns. Billy Cunningham was the one mostly finding pay-dirt with 11 touchdowns.

Game #3: Georgia Tech

What to Exploit: The Yellow Jackets graduated their quarterback. Tad Washington was instrumental in hurting the Tar Heels last season. Blitz their new quarterback early and often, throwing new looks at him for confusion. The thing to focus on is their triple-option attack. Stack the box, but don’t get burned on the deep ball.

What to Watch Out For: The Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech bring a much different look than UNC will see all year. The triple-option was run to a grand total of 64 points against the Tar Heels. Rising sophomore Tad Lee finished with four passing touchdowns last season and will fill in as quarterback with another year of experience under his belt.

Game #4: East Carolina

What to Exploit: They give up a lot of points. UNC should aim to come out of the gates firing, not so much on ball control. The quicker the Tar Heels can jump down the Pirates’ throats, the more we can control the tempo on the back end. The reason we want to do this is because ECU ranked a miserable 92nd in rushing yards last season. East Carolina will get more one-dimensional and UNC can sit back against a strong but risk-taking quarterback who threw 10 picks last year.

What to Watch Out For: Shane Carden. The rising junior finished 2012 with an impressive 3116 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s had another off-season to study film and increase chemistry with teammates, which could forewarn trouble ahead for UNC’s shaky secondary. Also, ECU-UNC hypes up a lot of fans in Greenville which isn’t far away. Expect a strong ECU presence in Chapel Hill that day.

Game #5: Virginia Tech

What to Exploit: Quarterback Logan Thomas threw a head-scratching 16 interceptions last season. UNC needs to bait the QB and then pounce when he makes a questionable throw into traffic. He’s a big guy, hard to bring down but on the slower side. UNC should throw different defensive packages at him, slowing down his reaction speed and helping their cause because he struggles with acceleration.

What to Watch Out For: Logan Thomas is entering his senior year with the Hokies, bent on giving the rest of the ACC a run for the title. He’s a monster at 6’6’’, 260 pounds and threw nearly three-thousand yards with 18 touchdowns. Virginia Tech also has an impressive defense at 32nd in the nation, giving up only 22.8 points per game last season. Va Tech will try to clean up the interceptions and will come out swinging. It will be a dog fight.