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UNC football holds promising season even after loss to FSU

THURS. | 10-23-20 | SPORTS

     After a disappointing loss to Florida State this past weekend 38-21, the University of North Carolina (UNC) football team will hope to rebound with a win against North Carolina State University (NCSU) in their game this Saturday. The Heels were heavy favorites in this game as they were ranked fifth in the nation. This loss should be an eyeopener for UNC and should encourage them to play their best football in the weeks to come. On the bright side, UNC has made immense growth since their two win season just three years ago. The UNC roster is filled with talent this season thanks to head football coach Mack Brown’s success as a recruiter. As a Tar Heel fan myself, I feel that the team is headed in the right direction.

     After a sensational and record breaking freshman season as quarterback, Sam Howell has returned and doesn’t seem to have lost a step. Excluding two interceptions in a week, one victory against Syracuse, and an untimely interception against Florida State University (FSU), Howell has looked as good as ever 


Picture contributed by Jack Vick

and will be key to the Tar Heels’ success. The running back duo which includes junior Javonte Williams and senior Michael Carter, is being touted as one of the best in the nation. Against Virginia Tech University (VT) they rushed for a combined 383 yards and four touchdowns. Talent on the offensive side of the ball doesn’t end there. The Tar Heel receiving corps is loaded this season as all of their starters from last season have returned. Senior Dyami Brown and junior Dazz Newsome both had over 1,000 yards receiving last season and are on track to do the same this season.

     On the defensive side, UNC returned seven out of eleven starters from last season. While key defensive line pieces; Jason Strowbridge and Aaron Crawford graduated last year, junior Ray Vohasek and sophomore Jahlil Taylor have done a great job filling their shoes. Senior linebacker Chazz Surrat is the fearless leader of the UNC defense. After converting from quarterback (yes, quarterback) to linebacker in the offseason prior to his junior year, he made the jump to become one of the greatest linebackers in the nation as he led the Heels in tackles last season with 115. The UNC secondary is seen as the defense's weakest link, although they aren’t exactly pushovers. Sophomore Storm Duck (known nationally for having the greatest name in college football) is UNC’s lockdown cornerback and has so far proven capable of defending the opponent’s best receiver. Replacing senior safety, Myles Wilfolk, who is currently academically ineligible, is junior Trey Morrison. Morrison spent his sophomore season at cornerback but has since been converted to safety where he has been excellent. His big hits on opposing players have labeled him the enforcer for the Tar Heel defense.

     It’s evident that the Heels being ranked fifth in the AP poll added unneeded pressure in their most recent game. The team played scared and sloppy, causing them to lose to a 1-3 FSU team. UNC will have to change gameplans for next week and play more loose in order to avoid another bad loss against their rivals down the road in Raleigh. It was evident against FSU that offensive play calling was on the safe side as Howell wasn’t unleashed to throw the ball deep until the fourth quarter. The fear of throwing an interception or missing a 3rd down conversion caused the Heels to resort to a run heavy offense which only netted seven points in the first half. With all this being said, I feel that UNC can beat anyone in the nation when playing at their best and it’s not quite time for UNC fans such as myself, to give up on their Tar Heels.

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