Listen Live
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Minnesota at North Carolina

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The North Carolina Tar Heels are 3-0, ranked inside the top 20, and have a legitimate shot at getting back to the ACC Championship Game in December, in large part, because of their QB Drake Maye. Yet, there are those who believe that Maye, who entered the season as a proverbial top 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, and a sleeper for the Heisman Trophy, hasn’t played at the highest level to start the season.

Maye is coming off a performance that saw him throw for over 400 yards in a win over Minnesota, and on the season, he’s passed for almost 900 yards, with four touchdowns, but four interceptions. He threw multiple interceptions in the season opener against South Carolina and threw two more against Minnesota on Saturday. When you go back to the end of last season, Maye struggled in the final games of the regular season, as his offensive line, broke down, time and time again. His struggles played a role in the losses to Georgia Tech, and NC State to close out the regular season, as he turned the ball over more than the team could afford. His 73% completion percentage wouldn’t suggest that he’s taken a step back, but it doesn’t look as fluid as we all thought entering the year. Now in large part, that is because of a new offensive coordinator, who is more committed to running the football, than they were a year ago, and things outside of Maye’s control, like the play of Caleb Williams from USC, or Shedeur Sanders at Colorado.

Wes Bryant of the Wes & Walker Show has made it known that he is concerned with the struggles of Maye to open up the 2023 season, given the struggles to end the 2022 campaign. His counterpart, Walker Mehl isn’t ready to say that he’s worried at all about him, sighting the decrease in talent, as to why his production hasn’t been what we expected it to be so far.

The good news has been that the Tar Heels’ defense has been able to overcome the turnovers that Maye has committed, whereas a year ago, the team would crumble after mistakes. Furthermore, in every game so far this season, whenever the team needed Maye to make a play, he rose to the occassion, and did just that, and that’s a big reason why they are 3-0 to start the season. And as long as that continues to happen, you have to like the team’s chances of getting back to the ACC Championship Game and competing at a higher level than last season.

You can catch the Wes & Walker Show, every weekday from 12-3 on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ, and the WFNZ app.