Freshman thrust into starter role
Freshman thrust into starter role
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North Carolina football’s second-in-command John Blake announced his resignation on Sunday, amid whispers of his involvement in the NCAA investigation. Blake’s sudden resignation, one day after a loss to Louisiana State University, could mean the NCAA investigation is more damning than football officials had previously let on.
ATLANTA — In North Carolina’s 30-24 loss to Louisiana State, an unlikely side effect emerged from the 13 suspensions that left the Tar Heels shorthanded all over the field. UNC’s dramatic comeback fell short in large part because the woefully undermanned special teams units could not contain LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson’s long returns.
North Carolina associate head football coach John Blake resigned Sunday evening in a prepared statement released by the University. In the press release, which also included statements from Butch Davis and athletic director Dick Baddour, Blake said that he felt his “presence has become a distraction to my family and to this great University, too.”
North Carolina staged the biggest comeback in the 2010 college football season thus far on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome. But 20 points was just too much to overcome. UNC, after trailing Louisiana State by 20, fell to the Tigers 30-24 in one of the greatest games in UNC history.
North Carolina began its season opener against Louisiana State as if the Tar Heels didn’t need the 13 ineligible players. Halfway through the second half, it was apparent they did. In a span of five minutes and 38 seconds, the Tigers scored 23 points to take a 30-10 lead against UNC in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. With the help of a UNC fumble in its own territory, LSU struck first with a six-yard pass from Jordan Jefferson to Russell Shepard to go up 7-0 with nearly nine minutes left in the first quarter. But UNC responded with an 82-yard drive capped by Devon Ramsay’s first career touchdown.
The University said this morning that 12 to 15 football players won’t make Saturday’s game as part of the University and the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of the football program. In total, UNC will be without six to nine of its defensive starters and two starters on offense.
Check twitter.com/dthsports for full details about who on the football team boarded the bus this morning.
Football has been swallowed up in Chapel Hill. There is no talk of potential 1,000-yard rushers and quarterbacks aiming for redemption. Anticipation isn’t surrounding a defense poised for greatness — it hovers on the decision of a couple of NCAA investigators and team officials.
North Carolina football players will board the team bus today at 9:30 a.m. bound for Atlanta. Head coach Butch Davis said any players who are ruled ineligible to compete, by either the University or the NCAA, will not travel with the team to its game against Louisiana State on Saturday.
In the three years since a magical 2006 campaign brought Rutgers a whisker away from the school’s first-ever Big East Football Championship, the Scarlet Knights have failed to manage a finish higher than fourth in the eight-team conference. This year, Rutgers returns a trio of young, talented skill position players from a team that went 9-4 and won the St. Petersburg Bowl against UCF.
Although often masked by the disappointment of an inefficient offense and a less-than-perfect conference record, the sixth-ranked North Carolina defense was the bright spot of last year’s football season. For safety Deunta Williams, it just was not bright enough.
Exactly one month after NCAA investigators set up shop in Chapel Hill, athletic director Dick Baddour made a surprise appearance at UNC football’s media day on Aug. 12. The 14-year A.D. spoke for 10 minutes about the investigation the NCAA launched into the football program. It involves possible improprieties between agents and seniors Marvin Austin and Greg Little.
Russell Wilson’s future could end up being in professional baseball. But this fall, N.C. State University will look to the redshirt junior to turn its football team around. Wilson was picked in the fourth round of June’s Major League Baseball player draft by the Colorado Rockies. However, he is also a star on the gridiron.
The North Carolina special teams unit will return a number of key starters in the fall. Thus, it will be expected to improve upon last season’s mediocre numbers. The special teams squad failed to crack the top three in any category among ACC schools last year and finished in the bottom half of the conference in three categories.
It is not often that a quarterback who is within a stone’s throw of his team’s all-time passing mark has to fight for his job.