Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: December 31, 2010 2:12 am
Edited on: December 31, 2010 2:16 am

Bowl Grades: Music City Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina uses a blocked extra point, three personal fouls, and two overtimes to knock off Tennessee 30-27 in the Music City Bowl.


Offense: The gift North Carolina fans got for Christmas was a healthy Shaun Draughn. Draughn has been battling an ankle injury since early November, but returned to make his first start of the season against Tennesee. The senior from Tarboro, N.C. had his second best outing for the season - rushing 16 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. Knowing that Tennessee was weak against the run, and both Elzy and Johnny White would be out, there was doubt as to if the Tar Heels would be able to take advantage of the weakness. Clearly they did, and clearly it worked out okay. GRADE: B

Defense: While North Carolina did give up 312 passing yards to Tyler Bray, they did limit the entire Vols offense to just 27 yards rushing. Forcing Tennessee to become one dimensional allowed the Heels to drop linebackers into coverage, particularly in overtime. Linebackers like Quan Sturdivant, who picked off Bray in overtime to set up the game winning field goal. The most impressive defensive performance might have come from Donte Paige-Moss. Paige-Moss returned from a busted nose he received from making a helmet-less sack to block the extra point to keep the score at 20-17 late in the fourth quarter. If that kick sails through and Tennessee claims a 21-17 lead, Barth's clutch leg would not have been an option. Big play after big play (not to mention Zach Brown's interception return), and this is a defensive squad lacking 3 future NFL draft picks. GRADE: A

Coaching: North Carolina head coach Butch Davis admitted after the game that the too many men on the field penalty was his fault. The offense had been told to clock the ball after Draughn's run, while the field goal team hustled out to try and kick it before time expired. The confusion was epic and the result, while the right call, will haunt Tennessee fans for a while. If anything, this was another example of Davis getting this team to battle back. It may be from suspension, it may be from injury, or in this case it was facing an impossible deficit in a not-so-neutral stadium. Somehow, the Tar Heels got it done this season - the newest Music City Miracle was just another example. GRADE: B


Offense: I know it stings for Tennessee fans right now, but there is plenty of good things to take away from the Music City Bowl. More than anything, the future is very bright with Tyler Bray under center. The freshman quarterback lived up to his late season charge against a tough Tar Heel defense and had a field day. Bray completed 27 passes to nine different receivers for 312 yards and four touchdowns. The deficiency in the running game (27 net yards) has to be a concern, and the three interceptions (particularly the last one) weren't fantastic, but there is plenty to be hopeful for with Tyler Bray leading the offense. GRADE: B-

Defense: Any positive things the defense did before the end of regulation will be completely forgotten thanks to some brutal decision-making in the final minutes. From Janzen Jackson's penalty on Harrelson to defensive end Gerald Williams' unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that set up North Carolina on the 12 yard line to start overtime. Additionally, giving up the touchdown drive before halftime was another huge momentum swinger, but after the way the game ended it seems like a moot point. GRADE: F

Coaching: It was mentioned earlier, but Derek Dooley will probably never want to play the end of close games ever again. After suffering this and the LSU clock debacle earlier this season, Dooley will lead the charge for a rules overhaul in regards to the punishments for substitutions I'm sure. But the blame will have to fall on Dooley as well for the penalties that cost them the game. Discipline issues in the college game will fall on the coaches as much as the players, and those three personal fouls in roughly a minute of gameplay changed the game entirely. GRADE: D

FINAL GRADE: Are you kidding me? Not to go all "standardized test," but if this game is graded in comparison to it's peers it is easily an A++. Not many games before today have carried this kind of impact on the entire college football community. Not to blow anything out of proportion, but this may the spark that gets the last minute run-off instituted in college football for offensive penalties. It does not belittle what North Carolina did in any way (the rule isn't in place), but it may be the last time it occurs ever again in college football. At least you have that kind of potential for historic significance. GRADE: A
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: December 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 1:33 pm

North Carolina loses two starters to surgery

Posted by Chip Patterson

The North Carolina senior class is one of the most successful classes in program history, but they will be missing two of their leaders when they take the field for their final game against the Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.  Both starting linebacker Bruce Carter and starting guard Alan Pelc underwent surgery this week and will miss their final game in Nashville, according to a release from the school.

Pelc underwent surgery on Monday afternoon to repair damage in his left shoulder.  He started 11 games for the Tar Heels in 2010, helping lead one of the more surprising offensive attacks in the conference.  

Carter underwent ACL reconstruction surgery on Tuesday.  He first injured his left knee in the home finale against NC State in late November.  He is expected to be fully recovered by the fall of 2011, but his participation is doubtful for the combines leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft.  With his rare combination of strength, speed, and ball-hawking presence, Carter is one of the most sought after outside linebackers in the draft class.  There is no telling yet how this injury will impact his stock in April's draft.

“Bruce and Alan have meant so much to this program,” said head coach Butch Davis. “They have been great kids, great leaders and, most importantly, they will graduate Sunday with a degree from the University of North Carolina. Obviously, we are disappointed for them that they will not be able to play in the bowl game. However, our main concern is their health and preparing for the future.”

Both Carter and Pelc will graduate from North Carolina this weekend.  
Posted on: November 22, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: November 22, 2010 11:33 am

Georgia-Boise St. game alters 8 other schedules

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Lost somewhat in the excitement over Georgia agreeing to play Boise State in the annual Chick-Fil-A-Kickoff game next season was the fact that both the Bulldogs and Broncos already had opponents scheduled to open the 2011 season: Louisville in Georgia's case, and Ole Miss in Boise's.

That's where the ripples from the Georgia-Boise rock thrown into the puddle of college football scheduling start, but they radiate out much, much further from there, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes by listing the incredible eight teams whose 2011 slates have already been altered to accomodate the matchup:
Georgia, Boise State, Louisville (dropped from Georgia’s schedule), North Carolina (added to Louisville’s schedule to replace Georgia), James Madison (switching dates on North Carolina’s schedule to accommodate the UNC-Louisville game), Ole Miss (moved a scheduled 2011 season opener against Boise State to 2014), BYU (replaced Boise on Ole Miss’ 2011 schedule) and Oregon State (changed dates on BYU’s schedule to accommodate the BYU-Ole Miss game).
This isn't to say that several of these teams aren't happy with the changes; Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone called delaying his school's meeting with the Broncos until 2014 so it could be that year's Chick-Fil-A Kickoff "a dream come true."

But still: maneuvering this many moving pieces into place just for one high-profile made-for-TV game should tell you how much weight ESPN currently has to throw around in college football's sphere of influence. And with the WWL somewhat fortunate the Beavers could switch dates so easily and keep the daisy-chain at only eight teams, it begs the question: at what point do teams start putting their foot down and telling television that some things aren't worth the money being thrown at them? Is there such a point?

Judging by the number of dominoes knocked over to bring together Georgia and Boise, ESPN's going to find out if there is sometime soon.

Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:35 am

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 20)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Virginia Tech clinched the Coastal Division title because of playmakers - If there is one thing that has seemed to separate Virginia Tech from the rest of the conference in 2010, it has been the weekly appearance of Hokie playmakers. Frank Beamer's roster is loaded with talent that can simply make plays when needed. Virginia Tech clinched their fourth Coastal Division title since joining the ACC in 2004 with their 31-17 dismantling of Miami in Coral Gables on Saturday. When the Hurricanes stuck VT in a corner, the Hokies always had someone to answer. Whether it was Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, or Danny Coale, someone was always stepping up when needed. The Hokies may have the division clinched, but they'll be playing for history against Virginia next week. No team has run the table in the ACC since Florida State did it in 1999 and 2000. A win over the Cavaliers and Virginia Tech can add that to their already impressive ACC resume.

2. N.C. State on the edge of a historic season - By squeezing out a 29-25 come from behind victory against North Carolina, N.C. State has found themselves a game away from competing in their first ACC Atlantic Division title. The Wolfpack have not won an ACC Championship since 1979, and with a win over Maryland next week in the season finale, will have a chance to do so against the Hokies in Charlotte. They got it done with special teams against the Tar Heels, benefitting from T.J. Graham's 87 yard punt return touchdown to give the Wolfpack the go-ahead score in Chapel Hill. The win gave Tom O'Brien a perfect 4-0 record against North Carolina as the N.C. State head coach, an accomplishment that can keep him in good graces around Raleigh for quite some time.

3. There might not be much of a quarterback controversy in Miami - Miami chose not to play quarterback Jacory Harris against Virginia Tech despite being cleared by the doctors before the game. Stephen Morris had performed well in Harris' absence, even leading some pundits to murmur ideas of a quarterback controversy. After Morris' performance against Virginia Tech, which included three interceptions and a lost fumble, it would not be surprising to see Harris back under center for the Hurricanes' season finale against South Florida. Miami's loss ended their chances of a division tittle, and with the conference season being completed are playing for bowl stock against the Bulls next week. The Hurricanes offense finished the game with six turnovers, and Morris looked very much like a freshman against Bud Foster's defense. Harris has a knack for turning the ball over as well, but judging by how active he was on the sidelines on Saturday it would surprising not to see him take some snaps against the Bulls to warm up for the bowl game.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 6:24 pm

Saturday Meal Plan: Week 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

We're less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and apparently the NCAA has taken that into consideration with this week's schedule.  It seems they're kind enough not to give us anything too heavy this weekend so that we're able to gorge ourselves to death on Thursday.

The NCAA: always concerned about the fan and their digestive limitations.


Main Course - Michigan vs. #6 Wisconsin - Noon - ESPN

Listen, people, if Bret Bielema can put up 83 points on Indiana, then surely he can do the same against a Michigan defense that has been the polar-opposite of stout this season.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Badgers shoot for 100 this weekend.

First of all, they need a win a win to keep their Big Ten title hopes alive, and second of all, the Badgers have some BCS computers to impress.  What's more impressive than 100 points?

There's also the fact that Bielema has already gotten Tim Brewster fired this season, and may have added Bill Lynch to his tally last week as well.  Why wouldn't he take a shot at Rich Rodriguez?

Side Orders: Not much else of importance on Saturday morning, but there are options.  Oklahoma State goes to Kansas looking to stay atop the Big 12 South division, and West Virginia will try to keep its slim BCS hopes alive on the road against Louisville.   There's also the battle of North Carolina when the Tar Heels take on N.C. State.   Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan State looks to maintain its spot on top of the Big Ten hosting Purdue.


Main Course - #21 Iowa vs. #8 Ohio State - 3:30pm - ABC

We have a couple of games featuring ranked teams during the afternoon, but in my opinion, this one should grab top-billing.  Iowa saw its chances at winning the Big Ten ruined by Northwestern last week, so what could be better for the Hawkeyes than to ruin Ohio State's chances?

After all, it was Ohio State that beat the Hawkeyes last season and ended their hopes of going to the Rose Bowl, so why not return the favor?

If nothing else, it's just another chance for Ricky Stanzi to spread the message of loving America and hating hippies throughout the country.

Side Orders: The other ranked game this afternoon features Miami and Virginia Tech.   Miami has a very slim chance to win the ACC Coastal division, but in order to keep those hopes alive, they have to knock off a Hokies team that's won eight straight since dropping that game to James Madison.    There's also some Les Miles fun on the mothership when LSU hosts Ole Miss, and seriously, after all that's gone on surrounding the game, how can you not tune in to Illinois and Northwestern at Wrigley Field?  I'll be at that game witnessing the insanity from the press box.


Main Course - Maryland vs. Florida State - 8pm - ABC

The game that would decide the ACC Atlantic! 

Who saw this one coming?  Essentially, the winner of this game will be going to the ACC Championship Game in a few weeks.  Now, while seeing Florida State in this position doesn't come as much of a shock, the fact that Maryland is here is rather surprising.

Though that's just the way the ACC rolls these days.  One minute you're terrible, and then the next you still aren't very good, but you're good enough.  Seriously the ACC should adopt the motto of "Hey, at least we aren't the Big East!"

Side Orders: If ranked teams are more your thing, then you can check out Texas A&M and Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers look to hold on to their ticket to Dallas while the Aggies -- who have done a 180 this season -- still want a chance to buy one.  Mississippi State and Arkansas will be going at it in Starkville as well.  Also, if you're into football games being played in baseball stadiums that use two end zones, Notre Dame and Army continue their annual rivalry on Saturday night, but this time from Yankee Stadium.  Show up and chant Derek Jeter's name for no reason!

Late Night Snack

Utah has not had a good November.  One week its getting pasted by TCU at home, and the next it's getting beat up on the road by a mediocre Notre Dame team missing half of its offense. Now they get to take on a San Diego State team that played TCU much better than the Utes did.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 10:43 am
Edited on: November 19, 2010 11:05 am

Seminoles limping into conference finale

Posted by Chip Patterson

Locked in a heated three-way race with Maryland and N.C. State, Florida State knows that a loss against the Terps on Saturday likely crushes their chances of an Atlantic Division title and a berth to the ACC Championship Game.  Florida State had a firm grasp on the division before losing back-to-back games to N.C. State and North Carolina.  Now, the Seminoles must defeat Maryland and hope for the Wolfpack to lose one of their two remaining conference games in order to avoid losing the division.  

They are going to have to get the job done in College Park far from full health.  Christian Ponder will be back on the field after sitting out against Clemson a week ago with soreness from a ruptured bursa sac in his elbow.  Ponder is not quite 100 percent, and it would not be surprising if E.J. Manuel saw some action, particularly after his performance on the ground against the Tigers.  But Ponder will missing two crucial pieces of the offense on Saturday.  Wide receiver Willie Haulstead and running back Jermaine Thomas are both will both sit out the conference finale with injuries.  Haulstead, who leads the team in receiving yards, has not been able to practice this week due to a head injury. Thomas, the team's leader in carries, was expected to miss action due to a sprained knee.  Maryland's defense has buckled against Top 25-caliber offenses this season, but with all the health issues it is not certain that the unit on Saturday is of that caliber.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 12:41 pm

More fun for Butch Davis

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the 2010 season, when it was North Carolina head coach Butch Davis that was the worst person in the college football world?  Thanks to his decision to have John Blake on his coaching staff, Davis was forced to play out the season with a whole bunch of his players -- and some players from around the NCAA -- suspended for receiving gifts from agents.  Then this whole Cam Newton story came along, and we all forgot about Butch, which is something he's probably grateful for.

Which is why it's too bad a former academic coordinator at North Carolina, Cynthia Reynolds, has filed a grievance against the school, saying that the only reason she lost her job was because Davis wanted somebody younger -- read: more attractive -- in the position. 

"I think it's important to make the point that even though I was an 'at-will' employee, you can't get rid of somebody [because] you want someone younger in the position,'' Reynolds told the Charlotte News & Observer. "There are policies, and you have to follow them."

The 56-year old Reynolds spent seven years working with the football program before being reassigned to Olympic sports in 2009, and then let go in August of 2010.  Though, according to the school, her dismissal had nothing to do with her age as much as it had to do with her ability to do the job.  The school says that Reynolds was reassigned for two incidents.
  • A player was deemed academically ineligible in 2008 due to misadvising.
  • A secondary violation was reported to the NCAA after 18 incoming freshmen football players were not enrolled in enough summer school hours, a violation none of the players were held responsible for.
Those violations came in 2008, Reynolds was reassigned in 2009.  Seems to make sense to me.

As for Reynolds' claims that Davis wanted her removed, the coach emailed the paper and told them that her claims aren't accurate, and that he has no such authority to reassign anybody from the Academic Support Program.  Those decisions belong solely to the department.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com