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2021 Wake Forest Football Opponent Preview: North Carolina Tar Heels

Another trip to Chapel Hill

Clemson v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Well, it’s the second biggest game of the season to me. After a run of 8 straight games where Wake will at worst be a pick-em, they’ll find themselves a sizable underdog in the betting markets when they head to Chapel Hill to take on UNC,

Game Date: Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Opponent: North Carolina Tar Heels

Conference: ACC

Head Coach: Mack Brown (15-10, 11-7)

2020 Stats

Record: 8-4, 7-3

Highest Ranking: 5th

Post-Season: 27-41 loss in the Orange Bowl to Texas A&M

Wins: Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Boston College, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, Miami

Losses: FSU, UVA, Notre Dame, TAMU

Yards per Game: 537.3

Yards Allowed per Game: 400.9

Points per Game: 41.7

Points Allowed per Game: 29.4

This team was an insane offense to watch last year and employed a bend, not break defense to accompany it.

A popular pick to not only win the Coastal, but dethrone the Clemson Tigers sooner versus later, the Tar Heels are this year’s hype machine. I don’t necessarily mean that in a derogatory way. They’re crushing life on the recruiting trail, and are just coming off a season with one of the best QBs in the NCAA, had two running backs drafted, and two very good wide receivers drafted.

Offense is what sells tickets and catches eyes, and that’s what this team has. Right now they’re still trying to replace Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dazz Newsome, and Dyami Brown. They’re crushing it on the trail but it looks to be more of a factor offensively in 2022 forward than 2021. Their receivers in Josh Downs, Emery Simmons, Antoine Green, and Justin Simmons look to carry the load this year, but that’s not a ton of game experience, especially with guys like Khafre Brown and Beau Corrales banged up. It’s also no small feat replacing the running backs, even with Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler. Sam Howell, is a heck of a college quarterback, but I think it’s ok to have questions given who they lost and the fact that not only was the offensive line wasn’t all too great last year, we’re realizing just how good Carter and Williams were in pass protection themselves.

On defense, it honestly should be a unit that’s improved. That secondary with Ja’Qurious Conley, Storm Duck, Tony Grimes, the list goes on, is one of the best in the ACC. The linebackers, starting and ending with Jeremiah Gemmel. I do want to see more from this defensive line however. I wasn’t all too impressed with them last year, and regardless of how good the DBs are, if you can’t get pressure and continually get gashed on the ground, that defense will not succeed.

This is the second or third hardest game on the schedule depending on how you feel about NC State. There’s no way to cut around this to say that this will be an easy game for Wake as things stand right now. This game lands in a precarious spot for UNC as they’ll be coming off a game against Notre Dame in South Bend, not that Mack Brown will take any game lightly, but that is not an easy game to follow up for a team.