The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday January 27th

Tar Heel defense aims at Va. Tech standard

By now it's old news.

The video of North Carolina cornerback Kendric Burney unloading a world of pain on Rutgers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood has been played again and again.

Burney's hit is even more special given his size (5 feet 8 inches tall 185 pounds) and the fact that he plays cornerback a position not known for heavy hitting.

But if you ask Butch Davis" more and more cornerbacks are being put on the spot to make tackles as spread and option offenses make a comeback in collegiate football.

""Your secondary" you can't fall into the trap and think that the secondary is only there to defend the pass Davis said.

With all the teams that run options they've got to be part of the support group. They've gotta be willing tacklers in college probably way more than they do in the NFL" because the ball gets spilled out.""

UNC's secondary will have a gold standard to look up to in Virginia Tech" considered defensively to be the class of the ACC's Coastal division.

So far in the season the Hokies are giving up a stingy 177.7 yards through the air. Compare that to UNC's 241.0 yards per game.

UNC's offense also has some direct experience with the Hokies' secondary. In 2007 Tech held UNC to 182 receiving yards and no passing touchdowns. More importantly the Hokies did not give up a pass more than 20 yards" taking away North Carolina's trademark big plays.

""One thing that won't change about them is their aggressiveness" and how they fly and swarm around the ball and make plays wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said.

They always have some standout guys on defense and there's just some standout guys in the ACC in general" and so we just gotta suit up and go out there and play.""

Terrence Brown named to watch list for top punter

UNC's punter Terrence Brown has been drawing praise from teammates and coaches since before the season even began. Apparently" somebody listened.

Brown was named Tuesday to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award given to the best punter in college football.

The senior from Fresno Calif. is averaging 41 yards per punt in 2008 with four of his nine attempts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Last season Brown averaged 41.4 yards per punt with more than a third of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Davis noted improvements in Brown's play as well as that of his team" even during the preseason.

""The punting was decidedly better than it was a year ago" he said Aug. 25.

Not only did Terrence do a great job punting the ball" but the snap operations were all at 2.1 or less.""

Those trends are obviously paying off for Brown.



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.


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