The University of North Carolina football team looked like it was going to be the team to finally take down Clemson last year, as it started 9-1 with a slew of impressive wins.
Drake Maye was playing like the best quarterback in the country, putting himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Josh Downs and Antoine Green looked like the best wide receiver duo in college football. The defense, though it wasn’t great, played well enough to help Carolina close out games.
A gut-wrenching loss to Georgia Tech changed everything. UNC lost four consecutive matchups, including 28-27 Holiday Bowl thriller to Oregon.
Despite the disappointing end to 2022, head coach Mack Brown is confident about his Heels heading into the Fall. Last week, Brown spoke with Chapelboro’s Michael Koh about the 2023 outlook.
“I think we’re gonna be good on defense,” Brown told Koh. “[Defensive coordinator Gene] Chizik’s got another year under his belt, the staff will be good together and I feel like we’ll be good. We’ll get tested early. We’ve got a really tough schedule to start the season (South Carolina, App State, Minnesota). So it’ll be a great four games to start out, to see if we’ve improved like we think we have on defense.”
The article highlights Cedric Gray as a key to the Heels’ success. Gray led the ACC and finished third in the FBS with 144 tackles.
Defense is UNC’s greatest weakness, with the Heels allowing the sixth-most yards (5,697) to opponents in 2022. Gray thinks that will be a massive area of improvement:
“It definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth when people talk about our team and how bad of a defense we’ve been at times,” Gray said. “Especially being the leader of the defense, I take that personally. I think now that we’ve got a year under our belt with Coach Chizik and this new defense,…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/tar-heels-football-hoping-stronger-011741496.html?src=rss
Author : Tar Heels Wire
Publish date : 2023-08-04 01:17:41
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