Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Football.
UNC Football Season Ticket Sales Up
UNC’s record-setting football season last fall has fueled a 15 percent increase in season ticket sales to more than 31,000 for the 2016 home slate at Kenan Stadium. “We’ve sold about 4,000 more than we did last year, so we’re very encouraged by the momentum,” Rick Steinbacher, UNC's Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Communications, said.
A look at the former Tar Heels trying to make it as rookies in the NFL
A total of six UNC alums tried their luck with the NFL during the 2016 NFL offseason: OG Landon Turner, LB Shakeel Rashad, WR Quinshad Davis, LB Jeff Schoettmer, QB Marquise Williams, and RB Romar Morris. Although none were drafted, they all earned the chance to compete for a roster spot on various teams. Here's how their offseasons went:
North Carolina needs to focus on its ground game
UNC had 41 dropbacks for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, while the running backs got just 16 rushing attempts. And that was a problem, because Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan combined for 152 yards on those 16 attempts (9.5 yards per rush), while Trubisky averaged just 3.78 yards per dropback, the fourth-worst output by a Power 5 quarterback in Week 1.
Steve Spurrier reveals the one time he was suspended (against UNC) and secretly kept coaching
Steve Spurrier was suspended once in his 31-year coaching career. It didn't keep him from calling plays. To the knowledge of very few, Spurrier kept coaching during his one-game suspension in 1988, shuttling Duke University's golf club director back and forth to the coaches' box with suggestions on a piece of paper that helped beat rival North Carolina.
UNC Football Hopes to Rebound As Illinois Seeks Signature Win For Lovie Smith
Early last season when the UNC football team was searching for credibility, it orchestrated a 48-14 blowout of a reeling Illinois team which had just fired head coach Tim Beckman. Coming off a deflating loss to Georgia this past weekend, the Tar Heels again find themselves in a similar scenario. The Fighting Illini, however, will present an entirely new challenge.
Turner's Take: Quality Time
The time-of-possession figure is less important to spread, high-tempo teams like Carolina than it would be to a more deliberately-minded offense like, say, Georgia Tech – last year's Tar Heels won 11 games yet on average possessed the ball for nine fewer minutes than opponents – but it does keep the defense on the field and make them more likely wear down.
UNC Freshmen Survive First Collegiate Test
Larry Fedora thought as many as 13 true freshmen could see the field in the season-opening loss to Georgia. Only six rookies actually played, although their experiences against the Bulldogs started the maturation process that will pay dividends. Some freshmen, like cornerback Patrice Rene, had no doubt that they would see a lot of action in the season opener.
Opponent Film Preview - Illinois
The advantage goes to the Tar Heels. North Carolina is too experienced and explosive on offense for Illinois to slow down. UNC just needs to be able to slow down Illinois’ run game and veteran quarterback, and they should take care of business in Champaign. Final score: UNC 75, Illinois 70. Just kidding. UNC 38, Illinois 21.
North Carolina vs. Illinois Game Preview & Prediction
Illinois will play well at home in the first half, using a balanced offense and pressure on D to keep this close and even take the lead going into the locker room. But UNC will adjust to take control of the game. Illinois will be forced to start throwing, and it won’t be able to do it effectively. North Carolina will pull away in the fourth, but it’ll be a battle.
Explosive RPOs key to UNC offense's success
One thing Mitch Trubisky did well in his first start was making all the right reads in the Tar Heels’ run-pass option plays, or RPOs, which factor heavily into UNC’s offense. Quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf describes RPOs as two-for-one plays. They’re running plays by design, but UNC has passing options tied in to exploit what the defense tries to do.
T.J. Logan aims to make an impact each time he has the ball
T.J. Logan doesn’t worry about how many touches he gets. He just makes sure each one counts. The senior running back saw his workload decrease last season with the emergence of Elijah Hood, but he has remained upbeat and ready when his number is called. “No matter how many touches I get, I’m just gonna try to make you remember one touch.”
ICTV Film Room: Run Defense Success & Failure
One of the keys to the success of the North Carolina football team is the success of the Tar Heel defense against the run. Against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, the UNC defense gave up 289 yards on 52 attempts, the longest a 55-yard touchdown run by Nick Chubb to seal the victory. The difference between success and failure is often small.
Tar Heels tackling not sticking
Based on the way he sounded Wednesday during the ACC’s weekly football teleconference, UNC coach Larry Fedora must have steamed as he watched the film of his team’s 33-24 loss to Georgia last week. “Seventeen missed tackles,” Fedora snarled, letting it be known that he counted every one as he watched Georgia run for 289 yards against his defense.
Chase Rice Keeps His Competitive Spirit Alive in His Career
Making it big in the music industry takes powerful determination and the gumption to persevere no matter what setbacks get in the way. Chase Rice embodied the thriving mentality a musician needs in order to make his career a reality. But learning the ways of that type of life skill came to Rice in an alternative manner than some may believe.
Larry Fedora Wednesday Post-Practice Quotes
Larry Fedora on North Carolina players showing leadership in the midst of adversity: "I love the attitude of the leaders and what they've been preaching to these guys and what they've been saying to the guys. It hasn't just been coming from the coaches, it's coming from them. Just like today, Des Lawrence was a beast out there today on everybody."