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By The Numbers: Syracuse vs. North Carolina

The Orange bring in two new coordinators, and are a big underdog in Chapel Hill We take a deep look at all the numbers around tonight’s ESPN matchup.

Sam Howell of the North Carolina Tar Heels rushes the ball against the Temple Owls in the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on December 27, 2019 in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange head to the Triangle to face the North Carolina Tar Heels this Saturday, which takes two traditionally lower-tier ACC programs heading in opposite directions.

The hire of Dino Babers in 2016 received rave reviews in Upstate New York, and his 10-3 season and Camping Bowl win in 2018 was one of the most memorable seasons in program history. But his other three seasons in charge have combined for a 13-23 record, and his seat is getting a bit warm in a colder area of the country. It’s why he’s gone with two new coordinators this season in Sterlin Gilbert (former head coach McNeese State, offense) and Tony White (defensive backs coach Arizona State, defense).

On the other side Mack Brown has brought North Carolina to prominence for the second time in his career. After leading UNC from 1988-97, just one year into his return the Heels looked refreshed and rejuvenated and are the darlings of bettors and the college football internet. Finishing 7-6 last season with a win in the Military Bowl, their 21-20 loss to #1 Clemson in a terrific game was the highlight of the season. True sophomore quarterback Sam Howell looks to be the real deal, and he leads a team with very high hopes for 2020. It doesn’t hurt that UNC has recruited well above their usual weight since Brown left his ESPN job.

For a deeper dive about the X’s and O’s of the game, check out our game film preview here.

Syracuse Orange (0-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-0, 0-0 ACC)

Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
When: 12:00 p.m.
TV: ACC Network

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Syracuse + 23 (53% of action, 67% of bets) North Carolina -23 (47% of action, 33% of bets)
Total: Over/Under 65.5 (over 75% of action, 52% of bets)
Money Line: Syracuse +950, North Carolina -2000

SP+ Ranking

Syracuse: 87 (82 offense, 90 defense)
North Carolina: 18 (8 offense, 45 defense)

Returning Production


Overall: 52% (106 of 130 FBS)
Offense: 61%
Defense: 42%
Coaching Staff: New OC/QB (Sterlin Gilbert), DC (Tony White), LB & CB Coach
Offense: 7 starters returning, including QB (Tommy DeVito, 11 starts)
Defense: 4 starters returning
Offensive line games started: 41

North Carolina

Overall: 75% (18 of 130 FBS)
Offense: 87%
Defense: 64%
Coaching Staff: New STC/OLB & TE Coach
Offense: 10 starters returning, including QB (Sam Howell, 13 starts)
Defense: 7 starters returning
Offensive line games started: 50+

Team Talent via 247 Sports Composite

Syracuse: 62nd of 130
UNC: 28th of 130

Championship Odds

Syracuse: National Champion +20000, ACC Champion N/A
UNC: National Champion +8000, ACC Champion +1000

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