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Previewing the North Carolina Tar Heel Offense

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Ahead of a Friday night matchup of undefeated rivals, we preview the UNC offense

Miami v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Wake Forest hosts in-state rival North Carolina for the first time since 2012 on Friday night at 6pm at BB&T Field. This rivalry is the oldest football rivalry in the state of North Carolina, having started in 1888.

First year (in this tenure) head coach Mack Brown has the team, the program, and the fanbase feeling some new energy levels not felt in years. The Tar Heels are 2-0, and look to come into Winston-Salem and take a road win to set the tone for the rest of the season.

The offense is led by freshman quarterback Sam Howell from Monroe, North Carolina.

Howell is 31/48 passing on the year for a 64.6 completion percentage. In two games, he has thrown for 519 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions, with an average of 10.8 yards per completion. He has a QB rating of 182.9 (for comparison Jamie Newman’s is 182.0).

Howell has been sacked 7 times in the first two games of the season against South Carolina and Miami. He has 21 rush attempts for -3 yards, and one reception for 18 yards.

Sophomore Javonte Williams and junior Michael Carter share time at running back. Through two games, Williams has 28 carries for 178 yards and a touchdown, and averages 6.4 yards per carry. Carter has 27 carries for 107 yards, and averages 4.0 yards per carry.

The receiving corps is led by sophomore Dyami Brown, junior Dazz Newsome, junior Rontavius Groves, and junior Beau Corrales. Brown has 8 receptions for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns. Newsome has 6 catches for 120 yards. Groves has 6 receptions for 76 yards. Corrales has 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore kicker Noah Ruggles is 5-7 on the year on field goals, and 3-3 on extra points. His season and career long is from 40 yards, and he has missed two from 40+ yards.

The Tar Heels have beaten South Carolina 24-20 in the Belk College Kickoff in Charlotte, and Miami 28-25 at home. They are averaging 26 points per game, 436 offensive yards per game, 7.4 yards per play, 167.5 rushing yards per game, 268.5 passing yards per game, 2.5 offensive touchdowns per game, and 22.5 first downs per game.

Wake Forest should be in for a very competitive matchup tomorrow night, and the Deacon defense will have to step up its game and get some pressure on Sam Howell to force him to make big plays if they want to win.