Complete coverage of North Carolina Football.
ACC predictions: Week 13
North Carolina vs. Old Dominion: The Tar Heels are going for their fifth straight win and bowl eligibility against a team that is 0-2 against ACC competition this year. Old Dominion has put up some points this season, but the Tar Heels' D has been vastly improved in this recent winning streak and will be able to shut the Monarchs down. AA picks: North Carolina 40, Old Dominion 17; HD's pick: North Carolina 44, Old Dominion 24
Julius Peppers needs to be fresh to get the job done
Julius Peppers is 33 and, by his own admission, ‘‘not fresh’’ after 10 games of his 12th NFL season. But he’s still Julius Peppers. At least he was last week, when the Bears’ eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end awoke from one of his intermittent slumbers to dominate the Ravens in a 23-20 victory at Soldier Field. Peppers had two sacks, two other tackles for loss, two hurries and a career-high 12 tackles.
For UNC, Old Dominion will empty its bag of tricks
Fake punts? Double-reverses? Three linebackers blitzing at once? Old Dominion football coach Bobby Wilder won't give any hints about his strategy for Saturday's game at North Carolina, other than expect the unexpected.
ACC Week 13 Preview and Predictions
Old Dominion at North Carolina: The Tar Heels hope to continue their late-season surge against a dangerous non-conference matchup in Old Dominion. The Monarchs are transitioning to the FBS and lost 35-24 at Pittsburgh earlier this year. Old Dominion’s offense is led by junior quarterback Taylor Heinicke – who has thrown for 3,892 yards and 32 touchdowns this season.
UNC cornerbacks preparing for Old Dominion's spread offense
When North Carolina’s defensive backs take the field to face off against Old Dominion Saturday, odds are they’ll be tested. Early and often. The Monarchs run a fast-paced offense, with quarterback Taylor Heinicke slinging the ball all over the field. Last season, Heinicke set the Division I record for passing yards in a single game with 730.
UNC on cusp of bowl eligibility after 1-5 start
After a last-second loss to Miami on Oct. 17, UNC was 1-5. Those early-season goals faded. Since then, Larry Fedora and his players have rarely spoken about any other goal than winning the next game. It’s among the oldest sporting clichés – taking it one game at a time – but the mantra has served the Tar Heels well. Since adopting a simple weekly slogan – “be 1-0” – they haven’t lost.
Common Opponents Provide Insight for UNC
North Carolina has benefited in preparation for Saturday’s game against Old Dominion through crossover film courtesy of two common opponents. That game tape confirmed that UNC’s defense will be tested all afternoon. The Monarchs (8-3) dropped their season opener at East Carolina, 52-38, before losing 35-24 at Pittsburgh on Oct. 19.
Video: Wednesday Football Post-Practice Interviews
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora and Shakeel Rashad talk about preparing for a dangerous Old Dominion offense that no one is taking lightly.
North Carolina turns its season around
Here the Tar Heels stand, riding a four-game winning streak, one victory away from bowl eligibility. They can get there against Old Dominion on Saturday, to complete the biggest in-season turnaround of 2013. Since the regular-season expanded to 12 games in 2006, only five teams that began the season 1-5 went on to make a bowl game. Only one – Rutgers in 2008 – came from a power conference.
Gunter Brewer Has Big Plans For UNC
North Carolina's Gunter Brewer had the opportunity to accept a head coaching job during the offseason - was "right on the brink," he said, before ultimately changing his mind. "I just felt like the journey wasn't complete here," said the Tar Heels' energetic wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator, "that I still had some work to do. And that I wanted to finish what I started."
Greg Little on being banned by Tar Heels: 'There’s a lot of people that I’ve hurt'
For the first time since Browns wide receiver Greg Little entered the NFL in 2011, he publicly lamented the damage he left behind at the University of North Carolina and how it has ultimately led to the Tar Heels formally distancing themselves from him. “There’s a lot of people that I’ve hurt, and I think a lot of the blame should be put on me much less than attacking other people."
Quinshad Davis Adding New Dimension
Sophomore wide receiver Quinshad Davis continues to be a threat in the vertical passing game but has also improved his blocking through strength gains to boost both his own impact on the field and the entire Tar Heel offense. Davis started ten games as a true freshman in 2012 and hasn’t missed a start so far this fall.
Larry Fedora Wednesday Quotes
Larry Fedora: “Our football team is looking forward to playing an 8-3 Old Dominion football team that has been coached very well. They’ve got a great quarterback, a kid that’s completing over 71 percent of his [passes]. He’s got four receivers that are catching over 40 balls, they really move it around quite a bit so we have a tremendous challenge this week.”
Allen Champagne knows where he’s supposed to be. The junior defensive lineman is one of three players on the punt shield, the last line of defense against would-be blockers. Champagne’s job is to hold them off long enough for a punt to get away. A defender with a head start meeting the 6’4, 285-pound Champagne can make for a big impact. “When I get in there, I just want to make sure they know who I am.”
Young UNC offensive line matures
Senior left tackle James Hurst has seen North Carolina’s young offensive line grow throughout the season — as steadily as his no-shave, all-season beard. “I think we were a pretty big part of the team’s struggle overall. But now they have some confidence, and they’ve been playing better, and they’ve definitely been part of why we’ve won four games in a row and turned the season around.”