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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina Tar Heels - 2021 College Football Season Preview & Win Total Predictions

The North Carolina Tar Heels have seen a resurgence under head coach Mack Brown. In 2017-18 the Tar Heels were just 5-18, but over the last two seasons have tripled that win total and played a bowl game in both seasons. North Carolina returns 21 of its 22 starters from last season including one of college football's best passers Sam Howell. Last season North Carolina averaged 41.7 points per game and through his career thus far at UNC, Howell has 68 touchdown passes.

Howell lost each of his top two receivers from last season and the top two running backs for North Carolina are also in the NFL. However, Josh Downs and Khafre Brown give the Tar Heels excellent speed at wide receiver, while Garret Walston at tight end has good hands. Ty Chandler, who is a graduate transfer, rushed for 2046 yards at Tennessee and is likely to be the starting running back. All five starters of the offensive line return for the Tar Heels.

On defense, Chazz Surratt, who led the team last season in tackles is no longer with the Tar Heels but linebackers Tomon Fox and Jeremiah Gemmel return. Fox has 33 starts with the Tar Heels and is one of the best pass-rushers for UNC. Several athletic lineman make up the interior line for North Carolina's defense including Tomari Fox and Raymond Vohasek.

The defensive backfield for North Carolina should be one of the best in the ACC with three highly talented cornerbacks in Tony Grimes, Kyler McMichael and Tony Grimes. Duck did not play the last 10 games of last season due to an injury but in 2019 as a freshman was one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. Safety Trey Morrison, who has made 31 starts for the Tar Heels, has valuable experience and is a big hitter.

Free NCAAF Pick:

over 10

Expectations run high in Chapel Hill this season thanks to the Tar Heels having one of college football's Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Sam Howell. If the Tar Heels can avoid injuries, North Carolina should exceed its win total of 10. North Carolina's ACC schedule is not tough  as the Tar Heels avoid Clemson but do face a tough season opener on the road against Virginia Tech. North Carolina will play five ACC games in its first seven weeks and that will determine its season outcome. Final Win Total Prediction, over 10.

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