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In many ways, the North Carolina offseason has been one of turmoil. And unfortunately for the Tar Heels, it affected a position that could least afford adversity. North Carolina graduated three senior starters from last year’s secondary, leaving just three players — Jabari Price, Matt Merletti and Charles Brown — with significant playing time in the defensive backfield. Cornerback Mywan Jackson, a promising freshman last year, left the program in early August. Price, a projected starter at cornerback, injured his hand in preseason practice and will likely miss at least six weeks of action. But despite the question marks that surround the secondary, coach Everett Withers said the corps has improved tremendously in a short time. “Some of those guys were thrown into the mix,” Withers said.
As redshirt sophomore Bryn Renner prepares to take the reins at quarterback this season, he will lean heavily upon a veteran offensive line that returns four starters and has the potential to be one of the best in the ACC. Jonathan Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound left guard, is entering his third year as a starter on the offensive line.
Undermanned and inexperienced, the North Carolina special teams squad entered last season gravely weakened by the ongoing NCAA investigation. But if Patrick Peterson felt any sympathy at all, he certainly didn’t show it. On opening night, the Louisiana State kick returner blew through UNC’s depleted forces, chewing up 257 return yards and scoring a touchdown in the 30-24 Tigers win. With the performance, Peterson exposed a weakness that continued to plague UNC throughout last season.
North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples might be one of the best NFL prospects in the nation, a reputation that could limit his production this season if opponents gang up to shut him down.
When Bryn Renner learned that coach Butch Davis had been fired, the quarterback had to let it all sink in a little bit. Even though Renner — whose father coaches Davis’ son Drew at East Chapel Hill High — had yet to start a football game at North Carolina, he and Davis shared a close bond. But while it was tough to see Davis go, Renner wasn’t going to let anything shake his focus less than six weeks away from kickoff.
In its 24-22 win against Rutgers on Saturday, the North Carolina football team racked up five turnovers — its highest single-game total since a 20-17 loss to Virginia Tech in 2008.
After the first drive, it looked like North Carolina would cruise to victory just like it did last week against James Madison. In the first quarter, quarterback Bryn Renner — with wide-out weaponry and tailback versatility — shot down the field in four quick plays and put the Tar Heels on top 7-0.
Despite uncertainty surrounding the $70 million investment in the Blue Zone and the North Carolina football program upon the firing of former head coach Butch Davis, those directly involved with the project said ticket sales and turnout so far this season have made the operation a financial success.
With less than 30 seconds left in Saturday’s 24-22 win against Rutgers, North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner fumbled the snap in the victory formation on the Scarlet Knights’ 12-yard line, nearly causing the sixth turnover for UNC.
Even when trying to put the game away, the Tar Heels couldn’t surmount their slippery fingers in their 24-22 victory over Rutgers.
The North Carolina football team beat out Rutgers 24-22 in a contest that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would suggest. UNC turned the ball over five times and notched three interceptions and two lost fumbles.
As the North Carolina football team prepares for its matchup against Rutgers, many wonder whether quarterback Bryn Renner will be as good as he was last Saturday against James Madison University. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is convinced he will be.
Saturday’s 42-10 season-opening win against James Madison gave the North Carolina football team a reason to celebrate, but a season-ending injury brought the Tar Heels right back down to Earth.
After Saturday’s season-opening win against James Madison University, interim head football coach Everett Withers gave partial credit to his predecessor Butch Davis.
After all the fuss about the North Carolina football team’s new faces at head coach and quarterback, the transition appeared seamless in its 42- 10 victory against James Madison on Saturday.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Bryn Renner might have been making his first career start against James Madison on Saturday, but he certainly didn’t look like a rookie.