Andrew Darvin

Consistently Inconsistent

Last week’s blowout of Elon gave Tar Heel fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into our first ACC showdown against Wake Forest last Saturday. The Phoenix certainly aren’t a college football powerhouse, but UNC still excelled in all three phases of the game. The offense played well, scoring with relative ease in putting up our highest point total since Mack Brown was head coach; the special teams were a revelation, with the electric Gio Bernard taking a punt return back 70 yards for a touchdown; and the defense posted a shutout for the first time since blanking Duke back in 1999. Students were truly excited about the football team for the first time in my tenure at UNC, and taking on a Demon Deacons team that struggled to put away FCS-school Liberty last week seemed to be the perfect recipe to keep the excitement level high. The rain delay that pushed back kickoff by more than an hour and the news that Gio Bernard was being held out due to a knee injury quickly put a damper on my mood, though. The Tar Heels turned in a frustratingly inconsistent performance on both sides of the ball, demonstrating at various times just how good and how bad we can be. The major takeaways from the tough loss to Wake are below. The Positives: 1. Early Offense: Larry Fedora’s...

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All Systems Are Go…Well, Almost

62. This is the number of points put on the scoreboard by the Tar Heels in their first outing under head coach Larry Fedora. Lamentably, this could also serve as a rough approximation of the number of students remaining in the Tar Pit at game’s end.  Arms locked and swaying side to side, the loyal few students who remained to perform the alma mater with the exiting players sang out to an empty Kenan Stadium. Perhaps this shouldn’t leave me incensed. There are, after all, a couple of obvious reasons for Saturday’s premature exodus of fans: 1) a 12:30 kickoff lent itself to a game played during the sweltering afternoon heat and 2) a 41 to nil halftime score left little doubt in people’s minds as to the contest’s ultimate outcome. But simply because a high attrition rate amongst fans is understandable does not mean that it is necessarily excusable. For quite some time now I’ve heard people describe Carolina football as a “sleeping giant”: a program with all the opportunities and resources needed to become a major player in the landscape of college athletics. We have a gorgeous campus, top ranked academics, and state-of-the-art facilities. We even have our own brand of pop-tarts for God’s sake! These are the same factors (minus the pop-tarts) that contributed to the building of powerhouse UNC programs in basketball and other sports,...

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Something We Should All Be Rooting For

As students begin classes, and the weather…well, remains hot and humid for now, football is in the air here in Chapel Hill. Despite the beautiful Carolina Blue sky, a figurative cloud hangs over campus as the local and national media continue to dissect the scandals erupting from the bowels of Kenan Stadium. It is easy to say that many other major college athletics programs likely commit similar infractions on a regular basis, but that doesn’t excuse UNC for its mistakes. It’s obviously disappointing to know that your team can’t win the conference title nor play in a bowl game before the first coin toss of the season, but I’ll leave it to others to discuss the validity of the punishments handed down by the NCAA. What I will say is that the continued focus on past wrongdoings is incredibly frustrating. It’s never fun to hear constant criticisms about something you love, and, as a student, it’s especially disconcerting to hear that the academic integrity of your school is in question. UNC’s educational reputation was a big reason I chose to apply to Chapel Hill, and facing many awkward questions from UVA fans and alumni while interning in Richmond this summer was not exactly the experience I had imagined when I was accepted. In addition to generating a negative impact on future recruiting for athletes and students at large, the...

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