Schedule offers tar heels their approach to faculty soccer playoffs?
UNC Football’s path to college football playoffs depends on whether they can capitalize on their lack of schedule.
The UNC Football program begins preparations for the upcoming season in August, with the goal of a college football playoff spot. Carolina has been viewed as a team to make the playoffs, according to some national media, having made an Orange Bowl appearance a year ago.
The latest point of sale to buy into UNC football in the postseason is 247sports.com, which places the team third among college football programs with the cheapest schedules.
The website credits the fact that Clemson is not on the UNC soccer schedule and has only two possible games that could result in Carolina failing in the playoffs that face Notre Dame and the Miami Hurricanes. Both teams are real threats to the UNC, but the threat is more like a tornado surveillance than a warning.
Whatever the year, the Fighting Irish are always expected to be part of the elite, even though they fall short in big games such as the Fighting Irish. The tale that Notre Dame could cause problems for the UNC is a fair assessment, given that even ESPN’s annual SP + rankings include the UNC game as a roll.
For the UNC to beat the Fighting Irish they have to do what they failed to do in the match-up last season, which is to finish the game. Last season’s game, Carolina got off to a hot start, scoring 17 points in the first half. A halftime adjustment from Notre Dame and five punts from Carolina helped cool the hot start as the heels failed to score points in the second half, resulting in a 31-17 defeat.
This highly anticipated game will look very different, especially as the offensive is likely to become more pass-heavy with the departure of monster-running back duo Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. A heavier passing game could keep star quarterback Sam Howell on a rhythm rather than relying on catching up late in the games when the run isn’t gaining traction. The expectation is that this game will get to the point, so it’s easy to see why many consider this game to be a throw.
The Miami Hurricanes game is more of a speed bump than a traffic control, as the UNC was supposed to handle this team in a blowout manner.
Unlike the Notre Dame game, this pre-nation ACC match is played by Tar Heel, adding pressure on Miami to maintain the scoring pace. When the two teams faced each other last December, it was as one-sided as it gets when Carolina took the win at Hard Rock Stadium 62-26. Much of this is to be expected, because even without Williams and Carter, who spent 544 yards on the ground together last season, the offensive is light years ahead of Miami’s defense.
I can understand why the Hurricanes can seem intimidating with a guy like D’Eriq King crawling around quarterback. King is a threat and can keep up with many college football teams, but when it comes to Carolina’s explosiveness it just gets too big. The hurricanes may look like a threat to UNC playoff hopes, but once they hit they aren’t even considered Category 1.
Carolina has enough gas to make it to the playoffs and the cheap schedule certainly helps. There may be some games that could end up being nail biters, but that would make the ride that much more special.
Stay tuned for the latest information about the UNC soccer team.