The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 8th

Sports



Grobe Looks to Return Wake to Postseason

Though no computer malfunctions rocked Wake Forest in 2000, the Demon Deacon football squad was nonetheless mired in a season-long blackout. After reaching the Aloha Bowl in 1999, Wake Forest was dealt the hand of inexperience in 2000. After quarterback C.J. Leak went down with a knee injury, the offense sputtered with an unseasoned backfield. The result was a disappointing 2-9 finish and the dismissal of coach Jim Caldwell. Twenty-one starters return to join a new coaching staff headed by former Ohio frontman Jim Grobe.

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Sooner Crowd, `D' Await Tar Heels

Oklahoma's offensive line is a trouble spot for the Sooners, but their defense is among the nation's best. Game and time: North Carolina at No. 3 Oklahoma. Kickoff is at 7:45 p.m. EST. Site: Memorial Stadium. TV/radio: ESPN will televise the game nationally. The Tar Heel Sports Network will provide live radio coverage; its flagship station is WCHL1360 AM. Records: Season opener for both teams. Series: Oklahoma leads 6-0. Personnel update: North Carolina -- PK Jeff Reed (sprained ankle) is questionable. Oklahoma -- None reported.

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Senior Metts Guides Young Offensive Line

Senior center Adam Metts anchors an inexperienced offensive line filled with four sophomores. By Brad Broders Assistant Sports Editor Senior center Adam Metts' tasks on the offensive line go way beyond snapping the football to quarterback Ronald Curry. It even goes beyond protecting Curry himself. Metts, the lone senior on North Carolina's offensive line, is also left the challenge of helping mentor the rest of Tar Heels' line, which is projected to start four sophomores.

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Maryland Looks to Rebound

Assistant Sports Editor Maryland finally got its man to lead the team out of its storied football medi-ocrity. Now Ralph Friedgen just needs the players to make old dreams a reality. The architect of a potent attack while offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, Friedgen is sure to open up the historically conservative, run-oriented Terrapins. Whether or not that will lead to more wins remains to be seen. The reliability of Maryland's defense will also be an issue throughout Friedgen's first season as head coach in College Park.

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Rowing to Hold Interest Meeting Sunday

The information session is open to all undergraduate women, including those without any prior experience. The North Carolina women's rowing program will hold an information meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday for prospective members of the varsity team. All undergraduate women interested in trying out for the team are invited to attend the session, which will be held in 100 Hamilton Hall.

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Long Year in Store for Duke

Assistant Sports Editor Disgraceful. Awful. Pathetic. All would be proper adjectives when discussing Duke football in 2000. Limping through their sixth consecutive losing campaign, the Blue Devils did little to help abate their offensive and defensive woes. They were outscored 430-155. They scored above 14 points only four times and allowed at least 20 points every game. They finished 0-11 overall and 0- 8 in the ACC.

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Seminoles Hope to Avoid Topple From Top

The oft-sowed seeds of revolution are still waiting to take root. Since Florida State became an ACC football team in 1992, the rest of the league's football teams have been biding their time, waiting for a chance to rebel and oust Tallahassee's titans from the top of the conference. Sometimes it's a key injury that gives the others hope. Other times, it's a Seminole loss during the regular season.

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Meet The Director

Dec. 11, 2000, North Carolina faithful finally met the man charged with resurrecting its fallen football program. The faithful knew UNC used to be something. For the younger, memories of 1997 lingered, swirling in the backs of their minds as they watched North Carolina's football team limp to 3-8 and 6-5 seasons under Carl Torbush in 1999 and 2000.

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Peppers Not Alone on Line

A nickname exists that could suit North Carolina's defensive line very well, although it might not put the fear of God into any opposing offenses this season: Julius and the three other guys. It's not exactly the Fearsome Foursome, but when you've got a player like junior Julius Peppers on your line, an equitable moniker can be hard to come by.

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Clemson Needs to Overcome Crucial Losses

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is heavily involved in his team's offensive play-calling, but he might focus more of his attention on defense this season. The Tigers (9-3 overall, 6-2 in the ACC last season) are without Keith Adams, last year's defensive leader, who opted to leave early for the NFL. But despite losing its main defensive threat, Clemson has been picked by the ACC media to finish third in the conference behind Florida State and Georgia Tech.

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Depth Questionable at LB

Thirty years ago, North Carolina had an intense linebacker who once made 20 tackles in a game against Notre Dame. The Irish aren't on UNC's schedule this year, but first-year North Carolina coach John Bunting expects his line-backers to show the same kind of tenacity as he did way back when. Although he hasn't gone specifically to his starting three linebackers -- David Thornton, Quincy Monk and Merceda Perry -- to talk about his glory days at one of UNC's traditionally strong positions, Bunting still expects big things out of his guys.

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Bells Ring in Another Year of UNC Doubts

North Carolina's players might want to consider wearing wedding veils instead of helmets this season. They have everything a bride needs -- plenty of old, plenty of new and Carolina blue. As veteran stars Ronald Curry and Julius Peppers try to end their collegiate careers with a bang, their new coaching staff will be eager to get off to a good start at UNC. However, the schedule and lingering questions could make for a rocky honeymoon. Something Old

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Tight Ends Focus On Better Blocking

Last season, the North Carolina football team talked about throwing to its tight ends more frequently, and the plan never really came to fruition. Chances are, it won't happen again this season. And with good reason. Gone are Alge Crumpler and Dauntae Finger, who formed one of the more formidable tight end tandems in the conference and are now in the NFL. Left to fill their gaps is a pair of guys who have played mostly special teams, a walk-on and a freshman recruited as an offensive lineman.

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Questions Exist in Backfield

A great uncertainty exists within the North Carolina running back corps. Four legitimate candidates -- all of whom have played other positions -- vie for the starting fullback job, while two sophomores battle for the tailback spot. Adding to the confusion, UNC's leading rusher in 2000, tailback Brandon Russell, has moved to receiver. Moreover, new offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill is adding a more motion-oriented offensive scheme.

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Amato, State Weather Change in Year 2

A revamped Carter-Finley Stadium awaits the arrival of N.C. State fans on Sept. 6, when the Wolfpack start the season at home against Indiana. But State fans shouldn't concern themselves with the new scoreboard or the updated seating. They should worry about life without Koren Robinson. The All-ACC wide receiver/kick returner was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the ninth pick in the 2001 NFL draft. Now State coach Chuck Amato has to find a new favorite target for sophomore quarterback Philip Rivers.

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Receiving Depth Not a Problem

Two days before fall practice began, North Carolina sophomore tailback Brandon Russell was told he would be lining up for the 2001 season a little wider than usual. At wide receiver. Russell, who led the 2000 Tar Heels with 508 rushing yards, said the transition to the new position has been difficult but enjoyable. "At first, it was confusing, (but) now I'm feeling pretty comfortable," Russell said. "I love it; I love the job." Russell joins a receiving corps that is among the ACC's deepest.

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Field Hockey Schedule

Date Opponent Time Sat., Aug. 25 Connecticut* 1 p.m. Sat., Sept. 1 Penn State 1 p.m. Sun., Sept. 2 Virginia Commonwealth 1 p.m. Sat. Sept 8 Michigan** 1:30 p.m. Sat. Sept. 9 Temple or Maine** TBA Sat., Sept. 15 Old Dominion 11 a.m. Sun., Sept. 16 Virginia 1 p.m. Sat., Sept. 22 Kent State TBA Sun., Sept. 23 James Madison 1 p.m. Wed., Sept. 26 Wake Forest 7 p.m. Sat, Sept. 29 Duke 1 p.m. Sun., Sept. 30 Richmond 1 p.m. Sat., Oct. 6 at Wake Forest 1 p.m. Sat., Oct. 13 at Virginia 3 p.m.

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UNC Soccer Kicks Off Against Cornhuskers

The top-ranked North Carolina women's soccer team will open their 2001 season Friday when UNC plays host to No. 5 Nebraska in an exhibition game at Fetzer Field. Game time is at 7 p.m. The Tar Heels return seven starters from last year's NCAA championship team. No. 1 North Carolina was 21-3 last season. Nebraska was 22-2 last season and were upset in the third round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago as the College Cup's fourth seed.

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Cross Country Team Releases 2001 Schedule

North Carolina cross country coach Michael Whittlesey announced the 2001 schedule Tuesday. The Tar Heels will compete in eight meets this season, including the UNC Challenge on Sept. 29. This year's slate also includes meets at Clemson, Charlotte and Wake Forest, along with the Wolverine Intercollegiate in Ann Arbor, Mich. UNC will conclude the season at the ACC Championships, hosted by Clemson on Oct. 27, and the NCAA Championships, hosted by Furman on Nov. 10 and Nov. 19.

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