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2010 Music City Bowl: Tar Heels vs. Volunteers Predictions

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs Tennessee Bowl Preview

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Tar Heels vs. Volunteers Handicapping Matchup

Date/Time: Thursday, Dec. 30, 6.40 pm EST
Venue: LP Field, Nashville TN
North Carolina Tar Heels (7-5) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (6-6) Betting Lines from MYSportsbook.com
MoneyLine: North Carolina -130, Tennessee +110
NCAA Betting Favorite: North Carolina (-2) Tennessee (+2)
Over/Under: 50
Bet now @ MySportsbook.com –>

North Carolina

At the start of the season, Carolina had a ridiculous defense on paper. On “D”. the Tar Heels have a chunk of players – DT Marvin Austin, LB Bruce Carter, DB Deunta Williams just to name a few – with NFL aspirations. Still, with UNC finishing 46th in the nation in points allowed (just under 23 per) it must be viewed as a disappointment.

Critics knew that Carolina wasn’t going to have a world-beating offense, however. In actuality, the Heels have been strong throwing the ball (25th in the FBS with 266.5 ypg) but inept running it (ranked 95th with 123.6 ypg). Senior pivot T.J. Yates had a strong season, for yards if nothing else, registering 3,184 yards and 18 majors through the air.

Since Oct. 23 at Miami, the Heels have had a pretty shaky campaign. They have played .500 ball since then, but the wins have been tenuous. The three wins were of a combined 11 points over FCS William & Mary, Florida State and Duke. Carolina lost a game they should have won against rival NC State and got wiped by Miami and Virginia Tech. It seems like Carolina might be a squad with oodles of defensive talent in the preview magazines, yet is ripe for a tough time with a plucky opponent in the Vols.


The Music City Bowl will effectively be a home game for the Vols, the game being a short road trip down I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville for the fans. It isn’t like Tennessee needs any more momentum; the Vols won their last four games of the season to become bowl eligible. The improvement in play (after a miserable start to the season) can be attributed to the youth movement.

Freshman QB Tyler Bray took over the starter’s role and hasn’t looked back, tossing for 1,234 yards and 12 majors in those last four wins. The lanky California native is guiding the offense with poise and with assistance from other youngsters like freshman WR Justin Hunter (407 rec. yards, 6 TDs – four in the last win streak) and junior RB Tauren Poole, has Tennessee gaining steam at the right time.

As mentioned, the Carolina “D” has not been quite as good as advertised, so the Vols ought to be productive on offense. Defensively, it has been up and down for the Sherbet and White, but no opponent has exceeded two touchdowns during this win streak. Granted, Tennessee faced the teeth of its SEC schedule earlier on, but with such a young team, the improvement is indeed promising.

Look for Bray to ride the good vibes generated from the hordes of home fans that make the short trip up the interstate to cheer on their beloved Volunteers.

The Pick

UNC is not favored by much in this one, but I see Tennessee taking this game, as one of these programs has finished 2010 on a shaky note and the other has finished with a profound head of steam. Look for Poole to have a strong game on the ground and for Bray to get the ball vertical if he needs to. Despite Yates seriously trumping Bray in the experience department, look for UT to have the upper hand on Dec. 30.

North Carolina vs. Tennessee Score Prediction: North Carolina 24 Tennessee 27 (OT)

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports NCAA video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. As always you’re comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!

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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!