ACC Q&A: A Late Spring Look at the ACC

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1) Phil Steele has UNC at #13 in football for 2012.  Is that a legit ranking?

Chris Coleman: I think UNC has the talent, ability and the schedule to be ranked that high at the end of the season.  The only question is whether or not they will gel as a team and win games in the fourth quarter.  That was a problem under Butch Davis, and Everett Withers last season.  Will it remain a problem under Larry Fedora?  That remains to be seen.

UNC certainly has a lot of positives as they head into the 2012 season.

Quarterback play: Bryn Renner lead the ACC in passing efficiency while throwing for over 3,000 yards.  He had 26 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

Experienced offensive line: The Tar Heels return four starters on an offensive line that blocked for a 1,200 yard rusher in Giovani Bernard.

Solid receivers: Guys like Erik Highsmith, Jheranie Boyd and T.J. Thorpe should prove to be good targets for Bryn Renner.

Good talent in the front seven: UNC did lose some good players off last year’s team, but guys like Kareem Martin and Kevin Reddick are back and they can definitely play.

Favorable schedule: UNC has a very real chance to start out 5-0.  They have home games against Elon, ECU and Idaho, and road games against Wake Forest and Louisville.  All of those games are very winnable.  They also play Maryland (2-10 last season) and Duke (3-9) this year, and they do not play Florida State or Clemson.

On the other hand, there are question marks as well …

A faster offense: The Tar Heels are preparing a fast paced offense that will keep defenses on their heels, pun intended.  I think Bryn Renner could do very well in an offense like that, but until it’s proved on the field it has to be considered a question mark.

A new defense: UNC is switching to a type of 4-2-5 defense, which features a Bandit (cross between a DE and an OLB), and a combination OLB and nickelback.  The change will give them more versatility in their blitzes and coverages, but how long will it take the players to perfect it?

Questions in the secondary: I’m not sold on UNC’s secondary, particularly the depth.

Would I rank UNC #13 in the country?  No I would not, but I could also see them finishing as high as second in the Coastal Division.  I don’t like Georgia Tech’s chances this year, as the Yellow Jackets have