What to check out as year opens with superior anticipations

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina enters Friday night’s opener at Virginia Tech holding its best preseason national rating in 14 yrs, showcasing one of university football’s most noticeable gamers in star quarterback Sam Howell, and anticipated to contend in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

All of which is swell, mentor Mack Brown mentioned in as numerous text this week. But now it is go-time for the Tar Heels on proving whether or not they’re worthy of such expectations.

“I never dreamed we’d be conversing about the items we’re conversing about proper now,” Brown reported, “but that is just communicate. Now it’s time right here, we have got to get started proving this things. We have talked enough, time to get. We nonetheless have not confirmed that we’re prepared to consider a different phase.”

Led by the junior Howell, North Carolina returns 18 of 22 starters combining the offensive and defensive sides of the ball from very last season’s workforce that went 8-4 even though landing the program’s initial-ever Orange Bowl berth.

The Tar Heels have been picked as the preseason beloved to acquire the ACC’s Coastal Division and are ranked No. 10 nationally, their ideal placement to start off a period considering that checking in at No. 7 in 1997, the final year of Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill. It’s just the fourth time in Tar Heels heritage they’re commencing a year ranked between the prime 10.

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