UNC’s Fedora gets his wish; Heels picked low in ACC preseason poll

UNC coach Larry Fedora got his wish as the media chose his team well down the ladder in the ACC Coastal, which is expected to be a wide-open division. The Tar Heels have lost their starting quarterback and running back who left early for the NFL as well as high-powered receivers who graduated. “They say that 90-something percent of the offensive production is gone,” Fedora said. “The more you guys talk about the guys who left, the better it is for us, It’s motivation for our guys to prove they are good football players.” He “urged” the media to keep […]

UNC coach Larry Fedora got his wish as the media chose his team well down the ladder in the ACC Coastal, which is expected to be a wide-open division.

The Tar Heels have lost their starting quarterback and running back who left early for the NFL as well as high-powered receivers who graduated.

“They say that 90-something percent of the offensive production is gone,” Fedora said. “The more you guys talk about the guys who left, the better it is for us, It’s motivation for our guys to prove they are good football players.”

UNC coach Larry Fedora.

UNC coach Larry Fedora.

He “urged” the media to keep talking about how the Tar Heels aren’t expected to do much this season. “Pick us low,” he said. “I would much rather prefer that. That would be a good thing for our program.”

The media who attended last week’s ACC Kickoff event in Charlotte did just that. In the preseason poll released Monday, the media chose North Carolina fifth in the seven-team Coastal Division.

Evidently, though, there were four members of the media who didn’t want to help Fedora’s motivation game as they picked the Tar Heels to win the Coastal Division.

Fedora admits to using the low expectations as motivation. “Sure, why not?,” he said adding that he really doesn’t have to do much. “Y’all (the media) are doing it for me so I appreciate that. Makes my job a little bit easier.”

Senior offensive tackle Bentley Spain said he’s not worried about any drop off from last year. “(The low expectation) motivates guys to try harder and prove people wrong,” he said. “We can’t control what people say about us so we’re just going to be the best we can every day.”

He said there are a number of young guys who are going to step up and shock people. “Even though they aren’t household names, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to be good players,” Spain said. “We just had a lot of really good talent they were behind last year. They’ll break out and it’s going to be just as good as last year.”

ACC Championship Votes
Florida State – 118
Clemson – 35
Louisville – 7
Virginia Tech – 3
Miami – 3
Duke – 1

Atlantic Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Florida State (121) – 1,108
Clemson (37) – 1,007
Louisville (9) – 843
NC State – 658
Wake Forest – 415
Syracuse – 362
Boston College – 283

Coastal Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Miami (103) – 1,065
Virginia Tech (40) – 932
Georgia Tech (9) – 708
Pitt (7) – 673
North Carolina (4) – 606
Duke (4) -473
Virginia -219

ACC Player of the Year
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – 113
Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State – 23
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – 11
Harold Landry, DE, Boston College – 8
Jaylen Samuels, AP, NC State – 7
Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 2
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami – 1
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami – 1
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke -1