Offensive line shifts on ?eld to cope with season’s trials

Alan Pelc’s understanding of  Cam Holland’s position didn’t begin by walking a mile in his shoes — just stepping in when Holland lost one.

“I played one snap at center against UConn,” Pelc, a left guard, said. “My first snap at center.”

But Pelc’s education has only accelerated since injuries forced him to fill in at center.


The Daily Tar Heel tags stories to make it easier for you to find our more about topics you care about. Consider it a Wikipedia for all things UNC.

Junior running back Ryan Houston ran for a career-high 164 yards in UNC’s last game. DTH File/Phong Dinh

Houston shoulders rushing attack

Immediately after Saturday’s 19-6 victory against Duke, in which he rushed 37 times, North Carolina running back Ryan Houston said he was ready for even more of the workload.But Monday, after having time to feel some of the damage inflicted upon him, Houston admitted his body was feeling some of the effects.

Quarterback T.J. Yates and the Tar Heels are coming off perhaps their biggest win of the season. DTH File/Andrew Dye

Tar Heels fear complacency

Butch Davis has addressed the steep learning curve facing his young football team on several occasions.But if last Thursday’s win against Virginia Tech is any indication, North Carolina is proving to be a quick study — at least when it comes to potentially heartbreaking losses.

Junior receiver Greg Little (8) recorded 265 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.DTH FILE/Margaret Cheatham Williams

Football: Tar Heels find time in Blacksburg

The fourth quarter of Thursday’s upset victory against No. 14 Virginia Tech contained plenty of good signs for the rest of North Carolina’s season, and one of them was the ability to simply possess the football.The Tar Heels effectively played keep-away in the late stages, as the offense controlled the ball for 11 minutes and 15 seconds of that 15-minute quarter.

North Carolina took a commanding 24-6 lead but allowed the Seminoles to come back in a 30-27 loss. DTH/Andrew Dye

Football: UNC falls with chance in spotlight

It took years of planning to bring football to Chapel Hill on Thursday night, and for a while, it was exactly the showcase North Carolina had arranged.Picturesque Kenan Stadium was at the center of the college football world, thanks to ESPN coverage. Tar Heel legends dotted the sidelines, and the current generation was dominating on the field.Then Florida State crashed that party, and UNC might have lost its chance to turn around its season.

North Carolina takes on Florida State Thursday in the first Thursday night home football game in school history. DTH/Andrew Dye

Football: Spotlight on UNC brings high stakes

When television cameras start rolling for North Carolina’s first Thursday night home game against Florida State, the University and the football program will have the national spotlight.What remains to be seen is exactly what they will do with it.Thursday night’s game provides an opportunity for UNC to either solidify its reputation as a football program or affirm what detractors have said for years.

UNC dominates Georgia Southern in 1st half, 42-7

For all that talk about offensive struggles, lack of turnovers and downright uninspired play, North Carolina more than made amends with its first half against Georgia Southern. The Tar Heels threw up 42 points - their most of the season - in just 30 minutes of play.

... on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC.

Virginia downs UNC 16-3

 When asked if Saturday's game was the lowest of the low for North Carolina's offense, quarterback T.J. Yates could only lower his head and quietly murmur agreement."That about tops it," Yates said.UNC's offensive unit turned in its second subpar performance in as many weeks, failing to score a touchdown against Virginia (1-3, 1-0) en route to a 16-3 defeat.Virginia running back Mikell Simpson rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown for the Cavaliers.

Quarterback TJ Yates gets sacked in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 7 to 24 loss to Georgia Tech. DTH/Andrew Dye

UNC falls at Georgia Tech

ATLANTA — No. 22 North Carolina couldn't break the streak.Despite missing two field goals, Georgia Tech (3-1, 0-1) came away with the win Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium and kept UNC (3-1, 0-1) winless in Atlanta since 1997, as the Yellow Jackets won 24-7.UNC, despite boasting the seventh-best run defense in the nation, couldn't stop Georgia Tech from racking up more than 300 yards on the ground, and Jonathan Dwyer topped 100 yards for the 11th time in his career.Josh Nesbitt went 6-10 with 78 yards passing and had a rushing touchdown..

Pirates sunk DTH/Jessey Dearing

Football: Yates and UNC offense click on all cylinders

Quarterback T.J. Yates had heard all the criticisms of No. 24 North Carolina’s offense.His receivers couldn’t catch. His rushers couldn’t find the creases. His offensive line couldn’t keep him upright. On Saturday, he finally got his rebuttal.“It was big for us. Kind of all week we’d been hearing some rumors of them saying some stuff in the media about this and that,” Yates said, referring to comments from East Carolina defenders.

Dion Guy (57) tackles UConn’s Jordan Todman in UNC’s 12-10 victory against the Huskies.

Football: UNC defense lives up to expectations at UConn

Last Saturday, Butch Davis said No. 24 North Carolina’s offense finally broke through a stout Connecticut defensive front because of how long the Husky defense was on Rentschler Field. At his weekly press conference Monday, Davis credited the defensive unit for giving quarterback T.J. Yates and the rest of the Tar Heel offense numerous chances to fatigue the Huskies’ defense.“The defense clearly played very well in that ball game. We were very fortunate. Some things defensively that significantly contributed to our ability to win the game was third downs,” Davis said.

UNC ekes past Connecticut, 12-10

There’s a reason why football games are four quarters.After being shutout for the first three, No. 19 North Carolina’s offense finally broke through in the game’s final quarter to rally to a 12-10 victory against the Connecticut Huskies.T.J. Yates completed 23 of 32 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, but the game was decided by a rare call on a UConn offensive lineman. UNC (2-0) was awarded a safety on a holding call in the end zone with 1:32 left in the fourth quarter when Huskies left tackle Dan Ryan held UNC defensive end Robert Quinn.

Volleyball looks to bench as team starts home play

Dry-erase markers squeaked across a whiteboard in the Smith Center as the North Carolina volleyball team prepared for its first home match of the season. Managers were tracking the action on the court, counting kills, errors and attempts by UNC hitters. When coach Joe Sagula brought the practice to a halt, the results were tabulated, and it wasn’t one of UNC’s leaders in kills that came out on top.

Junior linebacker Bruce Carter blocked three punts when North Carolina played Connecticut in 2008.

Bruce Carter forces special teams changes

Connecticut remembered this offseason just what North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter can do.A season after Carter blocked three punts in the Tar Heels’ 38-12 beatdown of the Huskies, UConn’s special teams completely revamped its punting formation into an elephant scheme to relieve some of the pressure.“It’s different from a traditional punt team where everybody is set in one area. It’s kind of like defending the goal line versus a spread-out shotgun formation,” Carter said.

Dwight Jones to miss first game

When No.  21 North Carolina opens the football season this Saturday against The Citadel, they will do it without wide receiver Dwight Jones. Jones will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday at UNC hospitals, and will not be available, according to the UNC Athletic Department. It will be determined after the surgery how much time Jones will miss.

Troy Douglas is one of three new assistant coaches. Joining Douglas are Art Kaufman and Allen Mogridge. DTH/Codey Johnston

Football: Trio of coaches making impact

One look at North Carolina’s depth chart, and three positions stand out for their returning experience: tight ends, defensive backs and linebackers.Yet all three of those positions will be coached by newcomers to Butch Davis’ football program.Art Kaufman, Troy Douglas and Allen Mogridge all joined the coaching staff this offseason.Kaufman, the linebackers coach, is particularly lucky in that UNC returns starters Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant, along with a host of depth behind them.