UNC trying to get over the hump

At a school where basketball is clearly king, the football team has tried to make strides the past few years to show that they are worthy of being ACC champions much like the basketball program. Though they’ve been unsuccessful thus far, most UNC fans will probably agree that compared to where the program was before former Head coach Butch Davis showed up, they’ll take where they are. However, you get the feeling that UNC is starting to expect more from the football team.
Before Butch Davis became head coach in 2007, UNC was in the ACC basement since Mack Brown departed as head coach in 1997. To go even further, the programs last outright ACC title was in 1980. As head coach, Butch Davis led the Tar Heels to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in years. That includes being ranked in the top 25, beating ranked teams, and continuously becoming bowl eligible. Unfortunately for Davis, his tenure ended in shame when it was determined that UNC football players were being proved money and other impermissible benefits. The academic scandal insued made things even worse. Davis was fired the summer of 2011 because of it. The football team was put on a three year probation, placed on a one year bowl ban, and the integrity of the school in general had taken at huge blow.  The UNC football program seemed like it was becoming unglued once again.
Though the drama of the academic scandal is still on-going, the football program is looking to move on. That’s where new head coach Larry Fedora comes in. Fedora’s past jobs included assistant coach for Oklahoma State. While there, they were known for high flying offenses. Fedora went on to become head coach of Southern Mississippi. The coach turned around a bad Southern Miss program and made them exciting and bowl eligible. Fedora was one of the hot coaches on the market for bigger schools to scoop up last summer, and it did not take UNC long to hire him.
Fedora brought with him a fast paced up-tempo offense that has many UNC fans excited. With a veteran quarterback in Bryn Renner, and solid wide receivers and tight ends that include Quinshad Davis and Eric Ebron, the UNC offense looks to fly high. Last year in 2012, Fedora had a good first season at the helm. Despite the bowl ban, UNC players gave maximum effort. After a slow start, the heels went on to finish the season 8-4. Which included wins over Virginia Tech, Miami, and the school’s first win over NC State since 2006. UNC lost some talented players from last year’s team, the most glaring piece being star running back Giovani Bernard. UNC was still a favorite to win the ACC coastal division in the preseason.
So far in the 2013 season, UNC is off to another slow start at 1-2. UNC’s offense is scoring points, but still is not as consistent as Larry Fedora would probably like. The defense suffered many injuries over the off-season, and it’s obvious they’re a work in progress.  UNC played a tough game against Georgia Tech this past Saturday, but lost the game 28-20, putting them beyond in the ACC coastal division already. It’s important to note that UNC started 1-2 last season as well, and they ended up having a good year. The 2013 season young, but UNC has tough conference games coming up soon. It will be interesting to see if UNC can get over the hump and contend for that elusive ACC football title.

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