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North Carolina Statistical Profile

Taking an in depth look at the North Carolina Tar Heels ahead of tomorrows Belk Bowl clash with the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


There are really two realities in these numbers for the Tar Heels. On the one hand they say what they say, namely that UNC has a pretty decent and explosive passing game while struggling mightily to run the football with any pop. That is what they say for the season, but things have changed since Marquise Williams took over for Bryn Renner following Renner's likely career ending injury in the North Carolina State game.

With Williams as the guy the passing game has become much more erratic and less consistent on a down to down basis. He also delivers bigger plays in the passing game at a higher clip so whatever trade off exists comes down, more or less, equal.

The flip side of that is that the running game is simply better off with Williams running the show. Even prior to Renner's injury Williams played, and played well in a role as a featured ball carrier and occasional passer. Having Williams as the full time quarterback basically took away a glaring tendency, where if Williams was in he was running the ball most of the time. Now there are tendencies, as there always will be, but they are much more nuanced based on personnel groupings and situational factors. With that in mind it isn't that surprising that the four best rushing performances for the Tar Heels came with Williams the full time starter.

Speaking of tendencies when the Tar Heels throw, they are throwing to Eric Ebron and Quinshad Davis. A lot. With good reason Ebron is an NFL tight end who happens to be playing college football. In a rank order of concerns Ebron would pretty easily monopolize the top 5 spots. He is simply really good at football.


The North Carolina defense is really nothing to right home about. They are a pretty decent team against the pass, and pretty bad against the run. They aren't particularly effective rushing the passer, or stopping the run. Their secondary is very active, as most 4-2-5 secondaries tend to be. Other than that there isn't a ton to say.

Tre Boston is really good, as are Kareem Martin and Norkeithus Otis. But there is nothing about this group that would make Eddie Gran stay up late scheming around like he did against the Houston and Memphis defenses, or the relentless pressure of Louisville. They do some things well, and some things not so well.


Continuing with the theme, solid if unspectacular. Their pass rush is really dependent on Otis and Martin getting to the passer, and they go to lengths to free them up. The Bearcats will see plenty of stunts and games from the Tar Heel front line tomorrow. That is something the Bearcats have gotten noticeably better at picking up in November. I will say that UNC gets to an awful lot of passes, and that has to go down as something of a concern for UC

6 non offensive touchdowns. Thats very many.