The North Carolina football team is looking to capitalize on last year's momentum this season. Although they're often overlooked, the offensive line will be crucial this season as they protect Sam Howell, the crowning jewel of head coach Mack Brown's air raid offense.
The offensive line will look to improve this season, sealing up the gaps that led to 37 sacks and a lot of pressure on Howell last year. They will also seek to maintain last season's success at protecting the rush that led to over 1,900 rushing yards from Michael Carter and Javonte Williams combined.
The line will feature four returning starters in Joshua Ezeudu, Brian Anderson, Marcus McKethan and Jordan Tucker. These returners assisted the Tar Heels to an average of 474 yards of total offense per game last year, good for second in the ACC. Tucker also recorded 41 knockdowns, bringing a punch to the O-line.
Even with all of their returning talent, the Tar Heels will struggle to fill the void left by Charlie Heck, the anchor of last year's line. Over preseason workouts, offensive coordinator Phil Longo has been eyeing redshirt sophomore Asim Richards to possibly fill Heck's spot. Richards gained experience against Mercer last season when he played 25 snaps against the Bears.