During the 0-4 stretch that ended UNC´s 2022 season, eight games were decided by less than a touchdown.
The Tar Heel defense drowned last year, allowing just over 30 points and 436.5 yards per game, with over half of those yards coming through the air. To add insult to injury, the Tar Heels also faltered in crucial situations, especially at the beginning of the season, giving up 40 points in the fourth quarter to App State and letting Notre Dame’s new starting quarterback throw a career-high in yards.
Assistant head coach for defense Gene Chizik will try to cut down on yards per contest and increase interceptions during the upcoming season — the second year of his second stint with the Tar Heels. With additions like Alijah Huzzie, young faces such as Tayon Halloway and depth chart climber Marcus Allen, the Tar Heels expect a stronger defensive stand.
With most Power Five teams playing with three receiver variations, the addition of 20-year veteran Jason Jones as the new cornerbacks coach will bring some advancements. Jones has devoted his life to the secondary, bringing years of experience with corners and safeties as well as six years as a defensive coordinator at Ole Miss.
The junior transfer from East Tennessee State started 30 games for the Buccaneers, notching 179 tackles, 12 interceptions, and claimed a first-team FCS All-American award and first-team All-SoCon honors.
During training camp, Chizik described Huzzie as an exciting player with good football instincts and one who is versatile in the corner spot. Huzzie made his debut with the Tar Heels during spring practice and began to work his way up the depth chart.
While Huzzie had minor injuries and did not appear in the spring game, Brown and Chizik expect to see a fully prepared Huzzie against South Carolina.