After spending a season ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions, the North Carolina Tar Heels are ready to bounce back in 2013 and make a run at the ACC title. They have plenty of areas to improve this spring in Larry Fedora’s second year as head coach, but the key to their season may be improving their play on the road.
Last season, the splits between the Heels playing home and away were drastic. At home, North Carolina went 6-1 and averaged 48.7 points per game. On the road, it was a different story as they finished just 2-3 and averaged 29.2 points per game. That kind of split in 2013 will sink any chance the Heels have of reaching their goals.
Some people may chalk it up to confidence as UNC learned a new offense under a first-year head coach, but the difference between their performances at home and on the road were far outside what you would normally expect. Whatever the issue, they will need to fix it quickly this spring as their slate of road games was not nearly as rigorous in 2012 as it will be next fall.
In 2013, North Carolina takes road trips to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies, NC State Wolfpack and Pitt Panthers in tough environments that will test the Heels and their litany of fresh faces. Their other road games include the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (who hung 68 points on the Heels in their only home loss last season) and face a daunting early season road game against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
While there’s nothing like home cooking, they need to invest in some tupperware to bring it on the road with them next season if North Carolina wants to capitalize on its opportunity to make a push for the BCS next season (which they have an excellent opportunity to do). The opportunity is there, they just have to hit the road to grab it.