North Carolina's Offense To Hold Off Georgia As Visiting Team

North Carolina Tar Heels player looking to the side

Doug Upstone

Sunday, August 28, 2016 9:32 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 9:32 PM UTC

If you are betting college football, you already know the last thing the Georgia Dome is a neutral site for North Carolina playing against Georgia. It might not be Athens, but it is might was well be.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Georgia Bulldogs
Though the Bulldogs were 10-3, that was not good enough for Georgia fans who think they should be on par with Alabama and chased off Mark Richt and brought in former Nick Saban assistant Kirby Smart to run the program. This move should re-energize the program which had gotten a little stale, nevertheless, better results are hardly a guarantee.

Larry Fedora helped get North Carolina to ACC title game and they were very competitive with Clemson before falling 45-37 as 6.5-point underdogs. Fedora could be described as "self assured", which is why he brought in old friend Tim Beckman, who was fired at Illinois for the treatment of players. Fedora defended his decision, but Beckman wisely stepped aside on August 26th. The Tar Heels football program which has been under duress for over a decade does not need more problems.

How do these two clubs setup for college football picks in the season opener, let's delve in.


North Carolina Needs Quarterback to Shine and Defensive Front 7 to Hold the Line
The Tar Heels welcome back eight offense starters, but one of this not Marquise Williams, whose eligibility has been used up. The new starter is junior Mitch Trubisky, the first quarterback Fedora recruited to Chapel Hill. While he lacks Williams running ability, Trubisky is better passer, which should open up the field. Make no mistake, North Carolina will move the ball on Georgia, often in large chunks and if those lead to touchdowns, the Tar Heels can stay in game.

Though North Carolina made great strides defensively under DC Gene Chizek, they still allowed 128 points in last three contests and finished 121st against the run. With no returning starters at linebacker, defensive linemen Nazair Jones, Mikey Hart and Dajaun Drennon and all the backups have to up there game. The Heels are set at the corners with Des Lawrence and M.J. Stewart and they should be able to handle Bulldogs receivers.


Georgia Needs Quarterback Consistency and Fresh Defensive Linemen To Grow Quickly
Before this article went live, no official decision had been made who will be the starting quarterback. The two obvious choices are senior Greyson Lambert, who was hit and miss all year at Georgia or Smart's freshman recruit and future starter Jacob Eason, along with junior Brice Ramsey, still a contender.

Expect the choice to come down to this, if Smart and the offensive coaches are comfortable RB's Nick Chubb and possibly Sony Michel are close to 100 percent from last season injuries, Eason would start, feeling they can run on Heels and have enough offensively. If not, more veteran leadership would be thought of as plus and Lambert or Ramsey will be under center.

The Dawgs defense is thin up front, but has better athletes than Georgia fans has seen the last couple years. However, all these new faces going against potent UNC offense could be conundrum for Bulldogs. Secondary has all four starters returning and is above average.


Odds and Outcome
The college football odds at highly regarded Bookmaker have Georgia at -2.5 with total of 54.5 for this 5:30 EDT. While there is uneasiness about both these Top 25 squads, when breaking it down, North Carolina has offense edge and special teams advantage and the players a coach they know and trust.

Georgia's Smart might end being a fabulous head coach, but even Nick Saban was 6-6 in regular season in first year at Tuscaloosa. Plus, the Georgia offense is hardly settled and neither is the defense. I'll take the points and keep a watchful eye and hope the Bulldogs go back to -3 or higher, increasing the value of selection.


Free NCAAF Picks: North Carolina +2.5 +105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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