North Carolina Tar Heels
5dimes.com Pointspread – NC pk O/U 40.5
Few teams enter the 2010 NCAA season with as much hype as Butch Davis’s North Carolina Tar Heels. With future NFL players all over the defense it will be very hard to puNCh in points against them. The same can be said for their first opponent of the year, the LSU Tigers. Always known for a stout defense, and being a stalwart member of the SEC, the Tigers can play defense with the best of ’em. North Carolina comes into 2010 after finishing 8-5 one year ago. LSU was slightly better in 2009 with a record of 9-4. This clash of titans in week one is a perfect way to start the college football season!
North Carolina’s defense is getting plenty of media exposure, but the offense isn’t too shabby either. QB TJ Yates isn’t the most spectacular player around, and that is why he may be sharing snaps with hotshot freshman Brynn Renner. Yates threw more INTs than TDs last year, but as a Fourth year player he is bound to improve. RB tandem of Ryan Houston and Shaun Draugn will combine for over 1,000 yards again in 2010. All in all, the talent at skill positions is probably average, but the strength of the Tar Heels offensive line makes up for it. They won’t be giving up many sacks this year.
This Tar Heels defensive line isn’t to be trifled with. They GAve up just 96 rushing yards per Game last year and combined for 33 sacks. DE Robert Quinn was #2 in the NCAA in neGAtive yards at 117. Quinn was 1st Team All-ACC last year. The LBs for UNC are the best in the ACC. They are led by Quan Sturdivant who had 79 tackles in 2009. It could be argued that the Tar Heels possess the best secondary in the FBS. Deunta Williams picked up 6 INTs and Kendric Burney had 5 last year. They are a deadly group and they will make LSU pay if they make too many mistakes.
LSU is a very good team in 2010, but they may not be able to top last year’s win count. Coach Les Miles will retain QB Jordan Jefferson who is a junior. While not quite a caretaker QB, Jefferson isn’t the best around. He is better than the opposing teams TJ Yates, but he won’t win Games by his lonesome. Running will be the theme on this offense. The RBs were plagued with injuries last year, but several guys are back and healthy from 2009.
The defensive line brings back just a single starter, but will still be solid. They are a fast group and will get their share of sacks. They will need to pressure on TJ Yates to iNCrease their chaNCes of winning. The DBs are incredible for the Tigers. They will have many more total INTs in 2010. Kelvin Sheppard is back at LB despite a chaNCe to enter the NFL early. He led the team with 110 tackles in 2009. If he has a great Game then LSU will be tough to stop. It won’t be hard for this talented squad to contain UNC’s offense.
This Game will be played on neutral territory in Atlanta. LSU have won the last five Games against UNC and 12 of the last 13 season openers. UNC hasn’t lost its last 4 season openers against FBS foes. This Game won’t be too exciting to watch as it promises to be a defensive struggle.
As mentioned above, the Game is in Atlanta. But it will be much closer to home for the Tar Heels than it will be for LSU. Plus, you’re likely to get some Georgia Bulldog fans in the house to root against their SEC rivals, LSU. So, if there’s a home field advantage to be had here in this Game, it would have to go to North Carolina.
We like North Carolina in this one. It’s a huge Game for the program. The team is loaded this year. LSU is a good solid team, but far from the LSU team that won the National Championship. Last season they played plenty of close Games against teams they were oNCe head over heels above. At pk, we’re just asking for NC to win the Game, and we think they will. The under looks tempting as well. These teams figure to be among the best in the land defensively this year. North Carolina pk, Under 40.5
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