5 Tar Heels Oregon needs to look out for in the Holiday Bowl

Believe it or not, the North Carolina Tar Heels will somehow field a team in order to play the Ducks in the Holiday Bowl on December 28.

The runner-up from the ACC has had many players transfer or opt-out to prepare for the NFL draft. The Tar Heels’ secondary has been especially decimated. Starting corners Tony Grimes and Storm Duck have each transferred, as has safety Cam’Ron Kelly.

Linebacker Raneiria Dillworth and backup quarterback Jacolby Criswell are also off the roster. However, the most important Tar Heel, starting quarterback Drake Maye, will be under center to lead UNC into the postseason game in San Diego.


Maye is an obvious one, but here he is plus four other Tar Heels Oregon needs to pay close attention to if the Ducks want to end the season on a high note.

QB Drake Maye

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Maye was just another redshirt freshman starting at quarterback and turned himself into a Heisman Trophy candidate seemingly out of nowhere. He finished the season throwing for an incredible 4,115 yards to go with 35 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Maye also rushed for seven scores.

At 6-5 and 220 pounds, he’s a similar quarterback to Justin Herbert.

WR Antoine Green

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All of Maye’s passing yards had to go somewhere and receiver Antoine Green was one beneficiary of the quarterback’s great arm. The fifth-year senior caught 43 passes for 798 yards and seven touchdowns. UNC’s leading receiver, Josh Downs (94 rec, 1,029 yards, 11 TDs) has declared for the NFL draft, so Green should be Maye’s primary target for the game.

OL Asim Richards

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At 6-4 and 315 pounds, Asim Richards is UNC’s best offensive lineman. He was Third-Team All-ACC this season. Richards was the anchor for a line that helped the Tar Heels rack up almost 475 yards of total offense per game.

LB Cedric Gray

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Cedric Gray is one of the best linebackers in the country. The First-Team All-ACC player led the Tar Heels with 137 tackles and he added two interceptions. He also has three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Gray had 100 tackles in 2021. It’s almost a surprise he hasn’t declared for the NFL draft, but Tar Heel fans must be happy this guy will stick around Chapel Hill for a bit longer.

DB De'Andre Boykins

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With corners Storm Duck and Cam’Ron Kelly not playing in the bowl game, Boykins might be the best defender the Tar Heels have left at the moment. He has 60 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks and an interception.

As the picture above shows, Boykins like to make the sign of the opponent. Hopefully, he’s not doing the Oregon O in San Diego.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire