My X&O preview for UNC is a focus strictly on the offense. The 2017 UNC Tar Heels aren’t just having to replace QB Mitch Trubisky, they also have to replace standouts like WR Ryan Switzer, RB T.J. Logan, RB Elijah Hood, and WR Bug Howard. That’s a lot of offensive firepower to replace for the Heels. Coach Larry Fedora does a great job of recruiting in basketball country but a lack of playing experience and cohesiveness with a transfer QB will hurt UNC. The pre-season S&P+ for 2017 has UNC ranked 38, with Miami at 18 (and that’s all the predictions I give months away from the actual game).
The 2017 Offense
LSU transfer Brandon Harris is expected to start at QB for the Heels. Back in 2015, Harris was a starter and logged 2,165 passing yards & 13 TD’s plus he rushed for 200+ yards and 4 TD’s. That LSU team finished the season 9-3.
Below- You can watch Harris’ 2015 tape from his LSU days
Below- see the power and running ability Harris brings to the Heels
If you want to run your QB against Miami’s front 7, I hope you’re prepared for him to be knocked out for a play or two at a time. Even a tough SOB like Francois couldn’t handle it all game and McIntosh, Thomas, and Quarterman are looking to take the #Canes to the ACC championship game in 2017.
With Harris at QB I would imagine the QB run game would be increased. On the spring highlights, you’ll lead off with QB draw followed by a RB counter with the BSOT (back side offensive tackle) pulling.
Below- RB counter
How do you replace Howard and Switzer? Roscoe Johnson wants to show UNC fans and opponents how here with hard yards after the catch.
If you’re going to beat Miami anywhere, I’m assuming it’s passing receivers off from DB to DB by attacking the midfield. With new safeties that’s a communication deal and they’ll have to be on the same page and working together quickly. By 10/28 though, I can’t see that still being an issue.
Below- looks like a dig Johnson does a great job with the YAC
The H-Back will block across the formation on a split zone to slow down the BSDE and open a cutback lane for the back. He doesn’t need it and drive his legs for a TD.
Below- Split Zone
Beating Miami with the deep fade won’t be easy between Malek Young, Dee Delaney and the JUCO transfer Dean playing the CB positions. The seam could be taken advantage of but I expect the QB to be pressured almost every down with that front 4 and that’ll give the safeties some make-up time in the back end.
There’s plenty of passing game highlights in the video below as well with UNC’s multiple QB’s (expected to back up Harris) throwing some pretty fades and seams.