Posted on: September 18, 2010 4:40 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
North Carolina had the ball with minutes remaining, down 30-24, a touchdown away from victory. For the second time this season, The Tar Heels fell short. Josh Nesbitt and Anthony Allen led the Georgia Tech rushing attack that totaled 372 yards on the ground against the Tar Heels. The North Carolina defense held Georgia Tech out of the end zone in the final quarter, but could not put together the drives needed to match a pair of Scott Blair field goals.
This was running back Shaun Draughn's first game back on the field for the Tar Heels, but it was senior Johnny White who carried the Tar Heels on the ground. White ran 17 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, giving stiff competition to the incumbent Draughn. White caught a shovel pass from quarterback T.J. Yates on 4th and 10 with 1:10 remaining, but was brought down four yards short of the first down.
The bounce back win was a must for Georgia Tech, who needed to rebound from last week's embarrassing 28-25 loss to Kansas. While North Carolina is missing the normal starting secondary, the option was full steam ahead against a talented front seven for the Tar Heels. The Yellow Jackets will host NC State next week, the only team in the ACC currently at 3-0.
Posted on: September 18, 2010 1:41 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Defending ACC champion Georgia Tech has a lot they is looking to make up for after being knocked off 28-25 by Kansas a week ago. The loss was humiliating for the Yellow Jackets, and cost them their spot in the Top 25. North Carolina is looking to make a statement as well. With 12 players still suspended, they will be looking to prove that the players available can still contend for an ACC Championship.
Both teams have come out hot on offense in the first half, scoring two touchdowns apiece on the way to a 17-17 tie. Georgia Tech's Orwin Smith got the fireworks started in the first quarter, scoring on a 73 yard touchdown run out of the Yellow Jackets' patented option set. TJ Yates answered just two minutes later for the Tar Heels with a 52 yard touchdown pass to Erik Highsmith.
Neither team has found an answer on defense, and we have yet to see a punt. Shaun Draughn, recently cleared by the NCAA, did not start the game and has rushed 5 times for just 13 yards.
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Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:23 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
North Carolina has had two weeks since playing their last game against LSU in their season opener. The off week provided time for North Carolina to continue to deal with their off-field issues, and try to clear more players for Saturday's matchup against division rival, Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels received good news with starting running back Shaun Draughn being cleared to play, but that's about where the good news ends. Not only has North Carolina come under fire for their association with Chris Hawkins, but they were not able to clear any of the remaining 12 players for Saturday's game.
The Tar Heels were able to clear starting linebackers Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant the day before the LSU game, and there was some speculation that they may be able to replicate that before Georgia Tech. But with the news today that no other players would be cleared, North Carolina must try to pick up a much-needed win against Paul Johnson's offense without two starting defensive lineman and most of their starting secondary.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: September 17, 2010 11:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The NCAA may have claimed one of their first true victims in the agent-scandal when Weslye Saunders was dismissed from the South Carolina football team earlier this week. While no official ruling had been made from the NCAA, it is assumed that the allegations directly led to his dismissal.
But it's not just the NCAA that can get involved in agent-related scandals in college athletics. There are 36 states which have passed the Uniform Athlete Agent Act, which prohibits, among other things, agents from supplying anything of value to an athlete before a contractual negotiation is reached. Any violation of the act can leave the agent subject to civil or criminal charges. In some cases, violation of the act can be ruled a felony.
North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall announced early in the scandal that her office would launch an investigation of their own, to determine whether or not there were any violations of the Uniform Athlete Agent Act. Weeks later there were reports that North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin had been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation.
According to an ESPN.com report, Austin is appearing Friday morning before the Secretary of State's office to give testimony about allegations into whether agents and financial advisors violated the Uniform Athletes Agents Act.
Austin began testifying at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, the source said. A representative from the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State's office was not immediately available for comment.
The office of the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State subpoenaed Austin earlier this month as part of its investigation into the alleged involvement of some sports agents and financial advisors with UNC student athletes.
When reached by telephone, Austin's attorney, Christopher Lyons, would not confirm whether Austin is testifying, but added, "Marvin Austin is fully cooperating in their investigation and we'll have no further comment until the investigation is concluded.
A source told ESPN that Blake has already been subpoenaed by the Secretary of State's office and may testify as early as next week. Blake has not returned messages left on his cell phone.
The biggest development in these testimonies would be any additional information that could be revealed that could affect the current state of the North Carolina football team. There could be details that were either misunderstood, or omitted entirely from NCAA investigations that would be made clearer when testifying under oath.
North Carolina has only been able to clear one more player, starting running back Shaun Draughn, since their season-opening 30-24 loss to LSU in the Chick Fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. However, all of the remaining suspended players have been going through full practice and team activities except for Austin. This could suggest that North Carolina plans on seeing most of their suspended players back on the field at some point, but have little faith that Austin will get a chance to suit up for the Tar Heels this season.
Posted on: September 13, 2010 12:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The North Carolina Tar Heels were the most successful team in the ACC Coastal division this week, as they were the only team within the division that didn't manage to lose a game . Of course, the Tar Heels didn't play this weekend, but these days in the ACC Coastal, bye weeks are all it takes to win. Using that logic you might think that UNC is the clear cut favorite to win the division because every week they actually do play, they've got 13 players who aren't dressed thanks to that little matter with the NCAA.
Well, the Tar Heels division championship hopes took a hit on Monday morning when the school cleared one of those 13 players to return .
UNC has cleared senior running back Shaun Draughn for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech , according to the depth chart released this morning.
Draughn, the team's leading rusher in 2008, is listed third on the depth chart for the GT game, behind Johnny White and Athony Elzy .
Draughn was one of 13 UNC players who missed the Sept. 4 loss to LSU because of the NCAA investigation into the program. He was the only player of the 13 cleared as of this morning.
Draughn was never actually suspended for the LSU game, but was instead held out of the game for precautionary reasons pending the NCAA's investigation. The fact that he's been cleared to play this week is a pretty good indication that Draughn hasn't stepped outside the NCAA's guidelines.
As for Draughn's twelve other teammates who are still waiting to be cleared, Butch Davis gave no news as to when or if they'll be cleared. He did say that eleven of the twelve are practicing with the team this week, and that Marvin Austin is the only one not practicing. So take that as you will.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 8:07 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Generally speaking, conference awards for "player of the week" are a good thing; bringing some extra recognition to the top individual performances from each weekend is certainly in the best interest of the conference, its teams, and their players. Certainly, we can all agree on that.
And yet, the recent proliferation of these awards is a little unsettling. Sure, there's not a ton of value in a conference handing out one award each week to the quarterback who threw the most touchdowns and calling it "offensive player of the week," but the exclusivity of it--one side of the ball, one award, maybe two if both guys are deserving--at least gives the designation a little heft. That's why we were a little disappointed to see so many weekly awards handed out over the past couple days.
For example, the ACC gave the designation to eight different players this week. EIGHT! That includes--deep breath--an offensive back (UNC quarterback T.J. Yates), three co-offensive linemen (FSU's Zebrie Sanders, Georgia Tech's Sean Bedford, and Virginia's Oday Aboushi), a defensive lineman (Maryland's Joe Vellano), a defensive back (Maryland's Kenny Tate), a specialist (Clemson punter Dawson Zimmerman), and a rookie (Miami running back Lamar Miller). Now, as a line play geek, honoring offensive linemen is something near and dear to my heart, so I hesitate to call for an end to such ridiculous practices as this. But... come on. Further, shouldn't the ACC really just honor offensive lines as a whole? They function as units far more than individual blockers, after all, and each of the linemen would have been made to look a lot worse if they weren't on the same page as the linemates next to them.
The ACC's avalanche of awards makes the Big XII's decision to announce co-winners in each of the traditional three categories positively reasonable by comparison, and we barely batted an eye at "MAC West Defensive Player of the Week" when the division elected not to give the award to two other people at the same time.
Look, it's fine to bring recognition to top performers, and we won't stoop to singling out any of these players as specifically being undeserving of the awards given to them. It's just that the more of these that get given out, the closer they come to being glorified participation ribbons, and where's the glory in that?
Posted on: September 5, 2010 12:04 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Is it possible for both teams to lose a game? LSU fans would probably argue yes after the Tigers' wild 30-24 survival against North Carolina. The decimated Tar Heels failed to convert a fourth down with under two minutes left, only to force a fumble on a game-clinching first down for LSU. With 1:08 left and no timeouts left, T.J. Yates drove UNC to the 5-yard line with 6 seconds left.
Alas, two throws into the end zone fell incomplete, the second bouncing off Zack Pianalto's hands as time expired. Both Yates and announcer Brent Musberger both thought there was some pass interference on the final play, and um, they kind of hand a point. It was the type of contact that doesn't always get called on the last play of a game (unless it's the 2003 BCS Championship, anyway).
So North Carolina comes away from the game 0-1 and still wondering when their 15 players will be declared eligible, while LSU gets a win but has even more reason to resent Les Miles and his offense than before (which, after the first half, seemed impossible). Fun times all around!
Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:39 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 11:44 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
After LSU took a 30-10 lead into the locker room at halftime, it would have been easy to write off the Tar Heels' chances in the second half. Depleted on defense and inconsistent on offense, North Carolina looked like all they wanted to do was just get out of town with some pride intact.
And yet, T.J. Yates and the Tar Heel offense have come alive in the fourth quarter. They converted a 97-yard touchdown, then drove down for another touchdown with under three minutes to go. 30-10 becomes 30-24, and all LSU needed to do is recover an onside kick.
Alas, UNC recovered, and now they're in LSU territory and driving. Hang on tight.
UPDATE: On fourth down, T.J. Yates was sacked on a corner blitz and fumbled. Game, LSU... except the Tigers fumbled with 1:08 to go. Anything can happen,