THE 2012 NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS "ANY GIVEN SATURDAY" INAUGURAL SEASON PREVIEW The Tar Heels look to kick off their inaugural year in the "Any Given Saturday" league with a bang, looking to conquer the ACC before aiming their targets at a BCS bowl bid. Leading the way on offense for the new look Heels, is redshirt sophomore All-ACC running back and Heisman Trophy candidate, Giovani Bernard. The second year back is coming off a breakout freshman campaign after rushing for 1,222 yards in 2011. Bernard's trigger man is another sophomore stand out in quarterback Bryn Renner, who dispite a poor won/loss record, still managed to throw for 3,000+ yards and 23 touchdowns as a true freshman. The team will look to use a combination of Erik Highsmith, T.J. Thorpe, Sean Tapley, and Jehranie Boyd to make up for the departure of Dwight Jones. North Carolina will undoubtedly be focused on the position over the course of the recruiting season. Defensively, the team fields a strong front seven, despite the loss of first round pick Quentin Coples in the Spring. Senior linebacker and Butkus Award candidate Kevin Reddick leads a solid defensive front, along with fellow senior and All-ACC nominee Sylvester Williams, who returns to anchor the defensive line from the tackle position. The Tar Heels will rely heavily on the front seven as they await the maturing of a young secondary that quite frankly wasn't very good in '11. Sophomore cornerback Tim Scott and safety Tre Boston are good players, but their inexperience showed last year and they'll need to step up their game if the back end of the defense is to keep the Sammy Watkins' of the world in check. Schedule wise, there is a strong chance the Heels open up the first month of the season at 5-0, as they face a somewhat cupcake opening slate of FCS Southeast (Elon), Wake Forest, Louisville, East Carolina, and Idaho, with three of those five games to be played at Kenan Stadium. The big test comes in Week 6 of the season, as the Hokies of Virginia Tech roll in to Chapel Hill, in a huge swing game that will go a long way to determining the direction of Carolina's season, both conference wise and nationally. Following the Tech game, the team travels to Coral Gables to play Miami before returning back to Carolina to play at Duke. UNC comes back home to finish October against their in-state rival N.C. State and could be looking at having to run the table in their final three games to make a push at the ACC Coastal division. The team welcomes the Wramblin' Wreck of Georgia Tech to Chapel Hill, before going to Virginia the next week, and finally wrapping up the regular season at home against Maryland. With returning potential stars on either side of the ball, a maturing group of underclassmen led by the quarterback, and a little help from good 'ole "Lady Luck", the Tar Heels feel that they have as good a chance as any to capture the ACC title and ride on in to the Orange Bowl or perhaps even greater things!