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Quick Lane Bowl 2014: An early look at the North Carolina Tar Heels

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What can we expect from North Carolina this bowl season?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Funny that when Rutgers joins a new conference and is promised a slew of exciting new bowl lineups against exciting new competition, RU is tabbed to face a familiar foe. This college football postseason, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will head to Ford Field in Detroit to play the North Carolina Tar Heels, whom RU has faced four previous times since the 2005 season. UNC won the last two matchups in very close fashion, and the stats suggest that the Quick Lane Bowl will be a tight affair as well (UNC-RU is ranked first in evenness). What can we expect from North Carolina after Christmas?

Profile

North Carolina Tar Heels

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (55-35 overall, 21-16 UNC)

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Series: 2-3 North Carolina

2014 Record

Date Opponent Score W-L
8/30 Liberty 56-29 W
9/6 San Diego State 31-27 W
9/20 @ East Carolina 41-70 L
9/27 @ Clemson 35-50 L
10/4 Virginia Tech 17-34 L
10/11 @ Notre Dame 43-50 L
10/18 Georgia Tech 48-43 W
10/25 @ Virginia 28-27 W
11/1 @ Miami (FL) 20-47 L
11/15 Pittsburgh 40-35 W
11/20 @ Duke 45-20 W
11/29 NC State 7-35 L

Regular season record: 6-6 (4-4 ACC)

The Tar Heels are fairly similar to the Scarlet Knights: good offense, terrible defense. UNC's lowest points allowed all season came during the second-to-last week of the season against a ranked Duke team, and the Blue Devils aren't exactly the highest scoring team in college football. Still, North Carolina definitely has the better wins on the resume with victories over Duke and a Georgia Tech team that almost stole the ACC title away from Florida State. The Quick Lane Bowl will be close, but it's fair to give the Heels a slight edge based on those wins alone.

Kyle Flood couldn't have asked for a better opportunity for an eighth win to ride momentum into National Signing Day. Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl is a much tougher draw, and you could argue that Louisiana Tech is a better team than UNC. This game could turn into a shootout as both teams have competent offenses, but Rutgers did well defensively in the second half of the comeback against Maryland. If Rossi's squad can continue that, there might be hope for him yet.