Week 5 – Idaho at North Carolina

Posted Sep 26, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction – Idaho at North Carolina

Idaho (0-4) at North Carolina (2-2) Sept. 29, 3:30, RSN

Here's The Deal: North Carolina continues to feel its way through the first month with Larry Fedora at the helm, alternating solid efforts with spotty play. A 2-2 start seems about right for a program that's lacking the consistency that it hopes to achieve in the second half of the season. The Tar Heels have been trending up of late, winning the last six quarters by a score of 54-9. Idaho is one of the last remaining winless teams in the FBS, but it almost wasn't that way. The Vandals went toe-to-toe with Wyoming in Moscow for more than 60 minutes before falling in overtime, 40-37. The school's rousing 2009 bowl win seems further away than ever, especially after losing 14 of its last 16 games.

Why Idaho Might Win: The offense showed clear signs of life last weekend, amassing more than 500 balanced yards. Former Arizona State transfer Ryan Bass rushed for 121 yards, and JUCO transfer QB Dominique Blackmon threw three touchdown passes without an interception. The Tar Heels have hardly been air-tight on defense in the early parts of the season, displaying a particular problem making stops when the ball is in the air.

Why North Carolina Might Win: The Vandals couldn't slow down Brett Smith and Wyoming. They'll have even fewer answers for Bryn Renner and the Tar Heels. While Fedora's offense has yet to fully set, the coach inherited a slew of talent on this side of the ball. It all begins with Renner with center, but Carolina is doubly dangerous now that RB Giovani Bernard has been cleared to play. The offense has also developed a speedy new weapon in redshirt freshman RB Romar Morris, who'll contribute as a runner and a receiver.

What To Watch Out For: The Idaho offensive line will need to be on top of its game by the time it arrives in Chapel Hill. Always solid in the front seven, Carolina has collected 10 sacks in the last two games, and really teed off on overwhelmed East Carolina last Saturday. The Tar Heels will bring the pressure from all angles, ranging from Sylvester Williams on the inside and Kareem Martin on the outside to LB Kevin Reddick and CB Jabari Price charging in from the back seven.

What Will Happen: North Carolina is on the uptick, a trend it plans to further this week against visiting Idaho. The Tar Heels are so close to being a complete football team, but a breakdown here or a missed assignment there is keeping them from fulfilling all of their potential. Carolina will take full advantage of its final opportunity to work out the kinks before ACC play continues in earnest, outclassing the Vandals on both sides of the ball for a comfortable victory.

CFN Prediction: North Carolina 45 … Idaho 14
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) North Carolina -24 O/U: 60
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 1.5