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Tag:Hunter Furr
Posted on: August 3, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Backup UNC RB Hunter Furr seeking transfer

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Butch Davis was dismissed as head coach of the North Carolina football program, many Tar Heel fans feared that potentially upset players may seek playing opportunities elsewhere. On Wednesday, interim head coach Everett Withers announced that backup running back Hunter Furr plans to leave the program.

"Hunter came to me this week and asked for his release," Withers said. "He is seeking an opportunity for more playing time and I respect his wishes. We've enjoyed having Hunter in the program and I wish him nothing but the best as he continues his college career."

Furr, who had five carries for 30 yards in the 2010 season, appears to be leaving for reasons completely unrelated to Davis' dismissal.

"I would like to thank the entire Carolina coaching staff for their support and guidance over the last two years," said Furr. "I''ve enjoyed being a part of this program and I've developed several great relationships with teammates and coaches. I feel it's in the best interest of my football career to transfer and compete for playing time at another institution. I have nothing but respect for Caoch Withers and I believe he will do an outstanding job building the program."

Furr was listed as the second string running back on the final spring depth chart behind Ryan Houston, but it is possible that with the new availability of redshirt freshman running back Gio Bernard he was beginning to see his window closing. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Bernard was ranked as a top 15 running back nationally by most scouting services and is expected to serve as a compliment to Houston's more physical running style.

Withers also announced on Wednesday the completion of the coaching staff for the 2011 season with the promotion of Steve Sisa to safeties coach. Sisa worked in player development last season, and will step into the role left vacant when Withers was promoted.

"With practice beginning in just a few days, we wanted to move quickly to complete our staff," Withers said. "I felt it was most important to add someone who knew the players and was a good fit with our other coaches. Steve has developed outstanding relationships with our players and is excited to begin."

The Tar Heels open fall camp on Friday in Chapel Hill.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2010 4:04 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Music City Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Shaun Draughn, who has been dealing with an ankle injury since early November, will start for North Carolina at running back.  Draughn is the team's second leading rusher and was a starter in 2009 until suffering a season ending shoulder surgery. 

The Basics: North Carolina
(7-5) takes on Tennessee (6-6) in the Music City Bowl in Nashville at 6:40 p.m. on Thursday.

Why to watch: Earlier in the season, Tennessee made headlines by dropping their home-and-home agreement with North Carolina from the 2011 and 2012 schedule. North Carolina fans were upset to miss the opportunity to square off with their neighboring flagship university, and the Vols were upset to see a BCS opponent leave the non-conference slate. Both sides are coming in ready to make a statement, with the Volunteers fans looking to pack Nashville's LP Field for the Music City Bowl. Both teams have undergone major transformations since the preseason. North Carolina had the much-publicized agent and academic issues that saw as many as 13 starters missing time throughout the season. In addition to the suspensions, the Tar Heels have caught no breaks with personnel. Starting linebacker Bruce Carter, starting guard Alan Pelc, and the top three rushers, among others, are all out for the Music City Bowl.

Tennessee has undergone major changes as well, most notably at the quarterback position. True freshman Tyler Bray finally hit his stride in the second half of the season, helping lead the Vols to four straight victories to become bowl eligible. Bray began sharing snaps with starter Matt Simms in the middle of the season, but head coach Derek Dooley's gamble paid off when he gave the frosh the keys to the offense. In those final four games, Bray through for 1,234 yards and 12 touchdowns. North Carolina won't be guaranteed to see the Vols in the future, but they will get to see the future of the Vols on Thursday.

Keys to victory for North Carolina: Tennessee has a pretty poor rushing defense, giving up over five yards per carry. This would be a great time for Johnny White, Anthony Elzy, or Shaun Draughn to help set up T.J. Yates and the passing game by pounding the ball on the ground. With White and Draughn hurt, and Elzy scratched for academics, the running responsibilities will fall on Hunter Furr. That puts even more pressure on Yates, who will continue to pad his lead in the UNC record books in several major categories. The Volunteers defense does not give up the long ball often, but they also do not get a lot of interceptions. Yates performs well when he can pitch and catch the ball down the field, and they will need him to do it in order to score with a limited rushing game.

Keys to victory for Tennessee: Once Tyler Bray got in sync with his receiving corps, everything changed for the Volunteers. Tennessee finished the season ranked fourth in the SEC in passing, and several receivers all capable of making the big play. North Carolina's secondary, though loaded with talent, has not delivered the same shut-down performances from years past. Virginia Tech and North Carolina State exposed North Carolina's weaknesses in the pass defense, and Bray will be looking to exploit that. Another major opportunity for the Volunteers will present itself in the special teams play. North Carolina, mostly due to a shortage of players, has been weak in the special teams department all season. If they can get one or two game-changing plays out of special teams, it could mean a victory for the in-state underdogs.

The Music City Bowl is like: A MTV/VH1/Bravo reality series. Both Tennessee and North Carolina are "big names" in college athletics, but neither team has been able to stand out on the field this season.  But off the field?  Oh man, the storylines! Obviously there is plenty of juicy scandal in Chapel Hill, and Tennessee still has some lingering bitterness towards their ex (Kiffin).  Imagine the Derek Dooley confessionals as he defends his support for "the new guy" Tyler Bray.  Butch Davis hitting the Nashville streets to GTL?  Okay, we are getting ahead of ourselves here.
Posted on: November 7, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 7, 2010 9:45 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 6)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Yes, Bowers is the type of the player that can alter a game -
In the second half against N.C. State, Clemson's defensive line pinned their ears back and came after Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson like a pack of wild dogs. They were led by defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who took jumped ahead as the nation's sack leader with his 11th and 12th sack on the season. Bowers commanded much of the offensive line's attention, and the Tigers were able to force Wilson to throw several balls away, especially down the stretch. The Tigers offense tried desperately to give away Saturday's matchup with the Wolfpack, but the defense refused to let Clemson's division title hopes fizzle away completely.

2. ACC Atlantic is a game of Yahtzee! - After last week's upset of Florida State, the Atlantic Division race got flipped upside down with N.C. State, Maryland, and the Seminoles all carrying one-loss conference records into Week 10. None of the three teams were able to establish a lead on the division race on Saturday, all losing their conference contests. Now with the division leaders all having two conference losses, Clemson is back in the mix to return to the ACC Championship Game. The good news is that each team, for the most part, will get to prove their worth on the field in the final weeks of the season. Florida State faces Clemson and Maryland, N.C. State faces Maryland, Wake Forest, and North Carolina, and Clemson also travels to Winston-Salem to face the Demon Deacons. As of right now, I'm giving the edge to Florida State. The Seminoles look like they could easily handle the Terrapins, and with the schedule left that seems to be the opponent that could decide things in the division. Which of course means that Ralph Friedgen's crew COULD win the division, but the "eye-test," the "ear test," and "conventional wisdom" in general says that the Terrapins are likely not going to be competing for a BCS bowl berth in December.

3. North Carolina simply refuses to die - After the Tar Heels' 37-35 upset of Florida State on Saturday, North Carolina head coach Butch Davis appeared choked up as he spoke about the resiliency of this year's squad. After missing as many as 15 players due to suspensions and investigations, and six of those players being deemed ineligible for the year, North Carolina finds themselves bowl eligible for the third straight year under Butch Davis. Neither injuries nor suspensions have kept the Tar Heels from finding ways to win, with the entire squad buying into the "next man up" mentality. When Davis was forced to work his way down to the fourth string running back, sophomore Hunter Furr delivered three crucial rushes for 27 yards to help set up Casey Barth's game-winning field goal. There is a lot of ground between the Tar Heels and the division-leading Hokies, but Virginia Tech will be in Chapel Hill next week to try and lock up a spot in the ACC Championship Game. After seeing the product the Tar Heels put on the field in Tallahassee, that task could be more difficult than previously expected.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com