UNC football leads the pack in this glaring stat

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Mack Brown and his staff at North Carolina inherited a program that was going through a tough two-year stretch in which they won just five games total in 2017-18. The challenge to rebuild the roster and get the program back to where it needed to be was no easy task.

But since Brown took over, UNC has had two winning seasons and made a trip to the Orange Bowl.

As we go into 2022, the Tar Heels are hoping they are better both offensively and defensively so that they can contend for an Atlantic Coast Conference title. But there is one area of their game in which they need drastic improvement and that falls into special teams.

This stat from ESPN writer David Hale shows that UNC has missed 40 field goal attempts since the 2016 season, the most in all of college football during that span:

Ouch.

In that span, UNC has lost nine games by 3 or less points which shows the missed kicks have come back to hurt the Tar Heels. Grayson Atkins was really good for UNC last season, making all 52 of his extra point attempts and 19 of his 23 field goal attempts.

Prior to that,  Atkins struggled in 2020 missing six attempts while Noah Ruggles, who went on to be a really good kicker at Ohio State, didn’t attempt a field goal.

In 2019, Ruggles did miss eight attempts while Jonathan Kim missed his lone attempt. Freeman Jones missed 10 in 2018 and five in 2017. Even Nick Weiler struggled in 2016, missing six attempts.

With Atkins gone this season, UNC will rely on Kim, Noah Burnette and Todd Pledger to solve their kicking woes. And let’s hope someone from that group emerges.

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