Over the course of the season, we'll generally be running blogger Q&A exchanges with bloggers representing each week's opponent. This week, we're chatting with Brian Barbour of the fine SB Nation community Tar Heel Blog. Below, you'll see what Brian had to say in response to my questions. Questions are in bold. Check the Tar Heel Blog soon for my answers to Brian's questions.
1. Last year, a porous defense was UNC's Achilles heel. Coming into this season, what do you perceive as UNC's strengths and weaknesses on defense? To what extent, if any, will this year's defense be improved? How will it perform against South Carolina?
The defense this season won't lack experience. Most of the position are filled by upperclassmen with some notable youth on the depth chart at strong safety. The defensive line will be anchored by the last in a string of Butch Davis recruits on that unit. Kareem Martin is hoping to follow in the footsteps (on the field anyway) of Marvin Austin, Robert Quinn, Quinton Coples and Sylvester Williams who all went high in the NFL Draft. The question marks are still there especially in the secondary, mainly because the pass defense had so many issues last season. Tre Boston is getting plenty of hype at free safety on the strength of leading the team in tackles and collecting four picks last season. However, anyone who watched Boston consistently saw a player who routinely was either beaten or in the wrong place. His play will need to greatly improve The linebackers are also fairly green with UNC needing to replace Kevin Reddick who graduated.