Topics: Football Season Preview for 2016
Sports editor Jackson Cowart and assistant editors Blake Richardson and Jeremy Vernon preview UNC's game in Atlanta and how this year's Tar Heels stack up against the Bulldogs.
Once a week, Nazair Jones makes his way along the carpeted floors in the bowels of Kenan Stadium to poke his massive frame into the athletic trainer’s office.
Mitch Trubisky sat on the bench, waiting patiently to hear his name.
He knew he wouldn’t. As a redshirt, the North Carolina quarterback was fortunate to even make the short trip to Raleigh in 2013. But with only a few players at his position, Trubisky became a last-resort backup.
Maybe this is all too much to handle, too lofty for a man with a mind he does not fully understand.
His intellect is extraordinary. But under control?
It’s pretty hard to imagine a better scenario for North Carolina’s rushing offense.
Junior running back Elijah Hood is a formidable force by himself. He ran for 1,463 yards on 219 carries in 2015 — the third-highest yardage total in the ACC and second-best in UNC history.
Larry Fedora has always coached his special teams unit to make game-changing plays. The kicking and punt return teams rose to that challenge in 2015, making plays that fueled North Carolina’s 11-win season.
For Des Lawrence and the rest of the North Carolina secondary, it's respect — or the lack thereof — that is motivating the unit heading into the 2016 season.
If you stand just far enough away at a North Carolina football practice, squint your eyes and tilt your head, you’ll swear you’re still watching last year’s Tar Heel passing offense.
But don’t let your eyes fool you.
North Carolina’s run defense had somewhat of an existential crisis following the 2015 Russell Athletic Bowl.