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.


Football

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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.


North Carolina opened training camp Aug. 6. DTH/Codey Johnston

Football: Filling holes in training camp

Carl Gaskins. Kevin Bryant. Aaron Stahl.Not exactly the trio of offensive players that fans and coaches of the North Carolina football team were worried about replacing this training camp.And while these three certainly don’t have the star power of departed wide receivers and NFL draftees Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster, their absence this season leaves the Tar Heels’ offensive line decidedly thin. That’s a problem at a position crucial to protecting quarterback T.J. Yates and opening up holes for UNC’s running backs.


Construction is being completed on the first phase of construction on Kenan Stadium. The new Kenan Football Center will be ready this fall.

Kenan Stadium offices renovated

When the UNC Department of Athletics hired Butch Davis as the next head coach of the football team it was the first step toward establishing North Carolina as a college football powerhouse.Now the first phase of the master plan to renovate Kenan Stadium to accommodate this program is nearing completion.


signing day

Signing Day

It's official: Coach Butch Davis' 2008 recruiting class was no fluke. Davis and his assistant coaches brought in the No. 8 class in the country this season according to Rivals.com and excelled in the state of North Carolina signing 12 of its top 35 players. Some of the class' real standouts come from in-state; others fill crucial voids left by graduating Tar Heels. Here's some of the best of the best.


Sports briefs for January 26

CHARLOTTESVILLE Va. — No. 13 Virginia edged No. 14 North Carolina 156-144 in collegiate dual meet men's swimming Saturday afternoon. Each team won seven of 14 individual events but the defending ACC champion Cavaliers prevailed by winning both relays and outscoring the Tar Heels by 14 points in those two events.