The Tar Heels bring a host of returning starters, and talented players at that – but it’s tough sledding in the Coastal Division in 2010.
UNC RB Ryan Houston scores TDs.
Projected Record: *Edited 07/22* 8-4 (4-4 ACC)
Returning Starters: 21 (10 on offense and 9 on defense; 2 on special teams)
Schedule Difficulty in ACC: Seventh.
Offense Rides On… QB decision-making skills. Whether Yates or Renner, UNC has a couple weapons – somebody just has to get them the ball effectively.
Defensive Deficiency: Depth? UNC’s defense is stout all over, but beyond the stars that start, UNC is hoping some young players step-up.
Keyword: Points – scoring them. With UNC’s defense, they won’t need a whole lot of them, but the Heels were last in the ACC in red zone efficiency in 2009.
Position by Position Grades (2009 Stats)
MVP: T.J. Yates (2,136 passing yards with 14 TDs/15 INTs in 2009)
Gotta Step-Up: T.J. Yates
MVP: Ryan Houston (713 rushing yards and 9 TDs in 2009)
Gotta Step-Up: Shaun Draughn (567 yards and 1 TD)
MVP: WR Greg Little (724 receiving yards and 5 TDs)
Gotta Step-Up: WR Erik Highsmith (425 and 2 TDs)
MVP: RT Mike Ingersoll
Gotta Step-Up: LT Carl Gaskins
MVP: DE Robert Quinn (11 sacks, 19 tackles for loss)
Gotta Step-Up: DT Marvin Austin (4 sacks, 6 tackles for loss)*
*We will see if he’s eligible this season – we’ll edit it when necessary.
MVP: Quan Sturdivant (79 tackles, 12 tackles for loss)
Gotta Step-Up: Bruce Carter (65 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss)
MVP: CB Kendric Burney (5 interceptions and 52 tackles)
Gotta Step-Up: FS Deunta Williams (6 interceptions and 47 tackles)
MVP: K Casey Barth (21/25 on FGs – 11/15 from 30+ yards)
Gotta Step-Up: P Grant Schallock (40.3 average punt with a long of 55 yards)
Schedule Analysis + W/Ls
||@ Miami (FL)
||William & Mary
||@ Florida State
||North Carolina State
Bye Week: Before Georgia Tech, September 18.
Toughest Game: at Florida State, November 6.
Key Conference Game: Georgia Tech, September 18.
Season Hinges on… Virginia Tech, November 13.
Why Fourth?: I came into the preview skeptical, but after looking UNC up-and-down, the Heels do have a legit shot at taking the ACC. It’s all a question of how much the offense progresses, and can they take care of the big home games with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. UNC’s offense develops and the defense dominates, but they fall one big ACC win short of taking the Coastal.
Could be higher if… UNC moves the ball effectively on offense and they sweep the two Techs to take the Coastal and advance to the ACC Championship Game.
Could be lower if… The offense doesn’t consistently put points on the board, and the defense is left holding the bag (like last season).
Will the Heels mold into a champion in 2010? Or will we see another anemic offense and mediocre finish? Comment below… We’ll be back with our Atlantic #3 on Wednesday (full schedule here).
Is this Duke's year to make a bowl? We'll have them covered in the next few weeks.
With ACC baseball done, time to move on to football, and hey, we’re almost at the two month mark to first kickoff!
Starting this week, we’ll be breaking down the ACC team by team in our unorthodox countdown style. ACC Blogger will start in the middle of the pack and branch out with position by position grading, schedule analysis, assessment of strengths/weaknesses, and each team’s overall shot at contending for the ACC Championship. Once we’re done breaking them down team by team, my ACC Championship pick and bowl projections will be up with the ACC Blogger projection for the ACC standings. After the picks, we will go deeper into positional rankings overall in the ACC, and hopefully by then, football season will be that much closer. So, stop on by and talk up ‘10-11 ACC football here this summer.
- Tuesday, June 29: Coastal #4
- Thursday, July 1: Atlantic #3
- Monday, July 5: Coastal: #3
- Tuesday, July 6: Atlantic #4
- Wednesday, July 7: Coastal #5
- Friday, July 9: Atlantic #2
- Monday, July 12: Atlantic #2
- Wednesday, July 14: Atlantic #5
- (Schedule edited below)
- Thursday, July 15: Atlantic #6
- Friday, July 16: Atlantic #1
- Monday, July 19: Coastal #6
- Tuesday, July 20: Coastal #1
Clemson and FSU made surprise runs to Omaha, but it ended once again without a title for the ACC.
The 2010 ACC season ended with a whimper, but overall, the ACC did well this season…
- 8 NCAA Tourney Teams (Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech, Miami, UNC, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech)
- 3 Regional Hosts (Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami)
- 4 Super Regional Teams (Miami); 3 Hosts (Clemson, FSU, Virginia)
- 2 College World Series Reps (Clemson and Florida State)
- One in the “Final Four” at the CWS (Clemson)
- ACC was 26-21 overall in the NCAA Tourney.
- 6 teams in final USA Today Coaches Poll of the regular season (In order: (2) Virginia, (8) Georgia Tech, (12) Florida State, (14) Miami, (20) Clemson, and (24) Virginia Tech.
- Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal and FSU OF/P Mike McGee Baseball America First Team All-Americans. FSU CF Tyler Holt, Clemson RF Kyle Parker, and Virginia P Danny Hultzen were Second Team. GT’s Derek Dietrich named Third Team.
Clemson’s 2 and out – one game from the Championship Series puts a damper on what was a solid season for the ACC. FSU and Clemson surprised us all by being the two teams standing in Omaha to represent the ACC – and both had their quirks to not make the run all the way. This season will be remembered for a Virginia team that had an outstanding season and set many all-time records in their school’s history, but met a hot Oklahoma squad and fell short of the goal. How about the Hammerin’ Hokies surge in 2010? They went from the cellar to being a contender in the tough Coastal Division. Georgia Tech had another solid season, but couldn’t make it out of their regional…again. This ACC baseball season might be known most among ACC fans for likely robbing Clemson of its starting QB in the fall with Kyle Parker. This was a year in the ACC where a number of teams were dangerous enough to win it all, but couldn’t string together the necessary wins. The ACC’s best lose a number of key players so 2011 should be wide open for ACC baseball.
Final thoughts on the ACC baseball season, folks?