Hakeem Nicks" junior wideout will have to shoulder an even heavier offensive load this weekend against Virgina. ?He?s been the one really solid consistent week-in and week-out player? coach Butch Davis said. ?You can always count on Hakeem to deliver this kind of performance.?

Bittersweet ending for Nicks

6:30 P.M." SATURDAY DEC. 27 CHARLOTTE – During Saturday's postgame press conference" Hakeem Nicks was asked if even he was surprised by one of the ""SportsCenter catches"" he made in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.


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Sports briefs for December 2

Seven UNC football players named to All-ACC teams  Seven North Carolina football players have been named to the 2008 All-ACC team as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Safety Trimane Goddard and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks earned first-team honors while Mark Paschal Kendric Burney and Garrett Reynolds were named to the second team. Calvin Darity and Brandon Tate were honorable mention picks.

Junior wideout Hakeem Nicks set the UNC single season record in receiving yards during Saturday?s game and finally hit his own personal goal of a 1"000+ season. Nicks finishes with 1005 yards and nine touchdowns ? including this one Saturday caught against his helmet.

Bell tolls for UNC

DURHAM — It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't easy. But it was a win — one North Carolina desperately needed. A third consecutive loss would have cemented the Tar Heels' end-of-season collapse and ruined any possibility of UNC appearing in a top-tier bowl game come late December.

Tar Heels finish strong at Duke

8 P.M. SATURDAY NOV. 29 DURHAM - After back-to-back weeks of subpar performances the North Carolina Tar Heels ended their end-of-season swoon Saturday with a 28-20 win at Duke. Sophomore quarterback T.J. Yates looked like his old self against the Blue Devils (4-8 1-7 in the ACC) completing 15-of-19 passes for 190 and three touchdowns.


Heels hope to better N.C. record at Duke

Garrett Reynolds heard that N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien proclaimed the Wolfpack ""the best football program in the state"" for the first time Monday. Reynolds craned his neck around in surprise. ""He said that?"" Assured that O'Brien did" in fact say that" the senior offensive lineman gave a little laugh and shrugged.

North Carolina?s Ryan Houston rushed for the Tar Heels? only touchdown in the third quarter against N.C. State on Saturday. The Wolfpack stymied the UNC running game as the Tar Heels amassed a meager 56 yards on the ground on 26 rushes in UNC?s fourth ACC loss.

Tar Heels packed in

Defensive end E.J. Wilson could offer no explanation. He had none for the way his North Carolina team had just gotten outplayed out-hustled — out-everythinged" really — by a supposedly inferior N.C. State team. ""I really thought against our rivals that we'd come out a lot more enthused and we'd play a lot harder than we did"" he said.

Quarterback T.J. Yates started after sitting out six weeks with an fractured ankle but couldn?t get into a rhythm against N.C. State" completing 10 of 22 passes.

Yates struggles in return to action

Saturday's game against N.C. State was supposed to provide a resolution at quarterback for North Carolina. With sophomore signal caller T.J. Yates starting again the Tar Heels looked poised to reclaim the offensive prowess it lost last week in an ugly defeat at Maryland. But instead of answers UNC's quarterback situation just got more questions.

Senior Day spoiled by Wolfpack win

4:20 p.m. SATURDAY NOV. 22 -- North Carolina turned the ball over a season-high six times in a 41-10 loss to in-state rival N.C. State on Saturday. Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson took advantage of good field position and a UNC secondary that was often out of position to throw for a career-high 279 yards and two touchdowns.

Versatile Wilson sparks 'Pack offense

Going into its 2008 campaign the largest question mark for N.C. State's football team was the quarterback perhaps the most important position on any team. The Wolfpack had two players on its roster with extensive experience leading an offense but both had turned in mediocre performances in their time at the helm of the offense last season. Coach Tom O'Brien had a quartet of quarterbacks ­­— Daniel Evans Mike Glennon Harrison Beck and Russell Wilson — to choose from. He ended up taking a chance with an inexperienced newbie the redshirt freshman Wilson.

Offensive line play key against in-state rival

The silent engine of the North Carolina attack has been the offensive line. Whenever it plays well the running game excels which opens up space for Hakeem Nicks to make plays through the air. Prime examples of this occurred during the impressive performances of the line versus Connecticut and Georgia Tech.

No drama just a nifty handshake

The elements are all there for a feud. An old-school not-so-friendly position battle. Shaun Draughn receives the bulk of the carries on first and second down and before North Carolina reaches the goal line. But once the Tar Heels get inside the 5-yard line Ryan Houston checks in and bursts through the line for the touchdowns. With some backs that scenario could fester into jealousy between the player who scores and the one who doesn't.

Brandon Tate, a senior wide receiver on the UNC football team, performs a physical therapy exercise in the Kenan Football Center training room before his first class on Thursday morning. Tate has been undergoing physical therapy frequently since he injured his knee during a game last month, in order to prepare for a future in the NFL.

A long road home

Brandon Tate tries to keep on the positive side of things. The torn right ACL and MCL he rarely lets it bother him. But every now and then he lets his guard down and the injury's effect is clear. It showed Thursday when Tate was getting a massage in Kenan Football Center's players' lounge.

Barth still looking for _¶ rst college tackle

When freshman kicker Casey Barth first stepped on the field in Kenan Stadium this year" it was no surprise to Tar Heel fans — they were used to having a kicker with ""Barth"" on the back of his jersey.

RB Ryan Houston has 26 tattoos ? he got his first when he was in 10th grade. ?The first one" (the tattoo artist) was like ?It?s gonna hurt a little bit but you?re a big guy. You?ll be alright.??

Holding his own

Everything about Ryan Houston is meant to intimidate. His size at 6 feet 2 inches 245 pounds is imposing. His powerful bulldozing running style is threatening. And yes even his 26 tattoos are meant to bully.