Clemson Football: Oppo Research – North Carolina Tar Heels

With the elimination of divisions in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson Football will begin seeing former Coastal Division programs more often. One of those programs, the North Carolina Tar Heels, will visit Death Valley in Week 12 on November 18th. Time and network have not been announced.

The Tigers lead the all-time series 39-19-1 over UNC. Clemson currently holds a five-game winning streak over the Tar Heels, with the most recent victory coming in the 2022 ACC Championship game.

Head coach Mack Brown had to replace his offensive coordinator for the first time since he returned to Chapel Hill. Phil Longo has departed to take over the offense of the Wisconsin Badgers. Brown tapped veteran coordinator Chip Lindsey to replace him. Lindsey spent a year as coordinator at UCF following his dismissal as head coach at Troy.

Lindsey will have a Heisman-caliber quarterback to lead his offense. Drake Maye grabbed headlines with his play in 2022 and will be eligible to declare for the NFL after this season, so there is a sense of urgency to make the best of this season in Chapel Hill.

While the offense was productive, the defense struggled, especially the pass defense. Several defensive backs transferred out of the program, followed by position coach Dre Bly. With the amount of turnover in the backfield, it is difficult to know what to expect from that unit.

UNC will have a new offensive play caller when they face Clemson Football

The Tar Heels return two very good linebackers in Power Echols and Cedric Gray. They also return three starting linemen, but they are all on the hot seat following a disappointing 2022. Younger players like former Clemson target Travis Shaw will be waiting for their opportunity if the starters don’t step up their game.

UNC is just a couple seasons removed from a disappointing 2021 campaign. It wasn’t so much that quarterback Sam Howell was bad, but more about all of the good players who supported him in 2020 having moved on. There is hype surrounding Maye’s return (and possibly last) season in Tar Heel blue, but like Howell in 2021, he will have to manage it without key contributors like Josh Downs and Antoine Green.


North Carolina 2022 Statistics

All stats per against FBS competition only

  • Points per game: 32.8 (27th)
  • Yards per game: 452.6 (22nd)
  • Points allowed per game: 31.3 (104th)
  • Yards allowed per game: 444.3 (111th)