North Carolina Tar Heels vs Illinois Fighting Illini Preview


Through two games the North Carolina Tar Heels have looked like a complete football team when they can avoid turnovers. However now is the time to prove it as the Illinois Fighting Illini from the Big Ten come calling. The Illini have started the season 2-0 under interim coach Bill Cubit and have shown no problem scoring the football in their first two games against Kent State and Western Illinois. Since neither South Carolina or North Carolina A&T did that, this will be a real test of the Tar Heel model.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

Opponent: Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)
Date: September 19
Time: Noon
Venue: Kenan Memorial Stadium

X – Testing the new Tar Heel Defense
For the last two weeks, the Tar Heels have been night and day on defense from where they were last year. Part of that is the new scheme and part of that is the use of new talent. Substitutions were plentiful against A&T. Now the defense goes up against a different more up tempo offense. The good news is that they play against that every day in practice. The bad news is that it will be a real test of their conditioning. If they can deny Illinois a shootout game, then that should be enough to get victory.

More from Old North Banter

Y – Pressure Wes Lunt
The Illini have enjoyed a healthy quarterbacking Wes Lunt for this part of the season. One goal of the Tar Heels will be to rough him up a little. Inferior competition did not really break through the Illinois line over the last two weeks. The Tar Heels need to cook up some pressure with Mikey Bart at the end or elsewhere on the defensive line.

Live Feed

NFL rumors: 7 QBs Raiders already need to be targeting for their future
NFL rumors: 7 QBs Raiders already need to be targeting for their future /


  • UNC Women's Basketball: Ivory Latta headline SCAHOF class of 2024Keeping It Heel
  • UNC Basketball: CBS Sports Classic Preview vs KentuckyKeeping It Heel
  • UNC Football: D.J. Jones enters transfer portalKeeping It Heel
  • UNC Football: Corey Gaynor declares for NFL DraftKeeping It Heel
  • 5 teams that should sell the farm to trade up, draft Drake MayeFanSided
  • Z – Stop The Run
    The Tar Heels live in a division where running the football is a way of life. Georgia Tech awaits in just a couple of weeks to test the new defensive philosophy. Illinois has been putting up 140 yards per game on the ground. If you can’t stop 140 from Illinois, how are you going to stop 350 from Georgia Tech?
    A side note to this game is how motivated Illinois has been so far without coach Tim Beckman. North Carolina needs to match that intensity if it is going to succeed this Saturday.

    Prediction: 31-28, North Carolina
    Home field and Nick Weiler will propel the Heels to victory in their last FBS game before they play Georgia Tech.

    Next: Three Takeaways from A&T