Last offseason, the North Carolina football team lay well beneath the national spotlight for seemingly the first time since head coach Mack Brown’s return.
The Sam Howell era passed and much of the buzz surrounding the Tar Heels was crashing down after a befuddling 6-7 campaign. It appeared the program would face another test, one that would challenge its Hall of Fame coach.
But then came Drake Maye.
The redshirt first-year quarterback brought the hype back to North Carolina football and led UNC to a 6-1 record to start the season. Now, the No. 21-ranked Tar Heels sit atop the Coastal Division and hold a 3-0 record within the ACC.
With five games remaining in the regular season, here's a look at grades for North Carolina's offense, defense and coaches.
Just how good has Maye been as a full-time starter?
UNC's signal caller ranks second in the country in passing touchdowns with 24 scores and is top 10 nationally in both total passing yards and QBR. He’s also North Carolina’s leading rusher this season with 378 yards.
But it hasn’t been just the efforts of Maye that have taken North Carolina’s offense to new heights. Wide receivers Josh Downs and Antoine Green have quietly become one of the better duos in the conference, with Downs leading the team in receiving yards and Green averaging a staggering 29.5 yards per reception. Both Kamari Morales and Bryson Nesbit have elevated the tight end position for UNC this year, as the two have combined for seven touchdowns.