CHAPEL HILL– The Tar Heels claimed a much needed victory over Boston College in Kenan Stadium on Saturday. And this one wasn’t even close.
Winning by a score of 34-10, Carolina finally put together those four complete quarters they’ve been searching for. And for now, it keeps their bowl hopes alive.
Head Coach Larry Fedora says he was satisfied with the performance.
“Alright, a much different feeling in that locker room tonight- a much needed win. We played not error-free football, but we played with a lot less mistakes than we had in our previous games,” Coach Fedora says.
Coach Fedora says he really likes the dual threat combo of Marquise Williams and Bryn Renner at the quarterback position.
“Anytime you are moving the chains you are going to have a better rhythm. I got to give both those quarterbacks some praise as far as how they are handling that transition between the two. A lot of people are going to tell you that you can’t do that. […] But it’s really a seamless transition between the two,” Coach Fedora says.
The defense was getting plenty of pressure in the Boston College backfield and continually disrupted the Eagles’ offensive game plan by robbing them of time. Coach Fedora says he is most pleased with the how hard the guys on the defense are playing.
“I thought the defense did a really good job all night. They kept them out of the end zone. They’re playing pretty hard. I mean, I’ll tell you, they’re playing pretty hard,” Coach Fedora says.
Senior signal caller Bryn Renner certainly delivered an efficient performance, tossing a pair of touchdown passes with only three incompletions the entire game.
Renner says the added emphasis on red zone scoring in practice really paid off for the Tar Heels against Boston College.
“You know, us as players, when we get in that area, the energy level and intensity to score needs to be there. And I think that’s what we’ve been trying to focus on. Guys are staying after to watch extra film. And we’ve been executing, and I think that’s been huge,” Renner says.
Eclipsing the 8,000 yard career mark last weekend, Renner says he was unaware of those numbers. He says he is focused on finding a way to salvage the season one game at a time.
“The ‘mojo’ of our team is kind of to keep battling and keep fighting. And that’s what we are going to do the rest of the season. No matter what happen, we’re going to focus on one game at a time. That’s all we can control. We’re not where we want to be right now, so we’re not satisfied. We’re going to N.C.State with a tough test,” Renner says.
Yes, next up for the Tar Heels is that little game against the Wolf Pack down in Raleigh on Saturday.
CHAPEL HILL– What a night it was Friday inside the cozy confines of the Dean Dome for the eighth annual Late Night with Roy event that signals the start of another basketball season.
The Tar Heel volleyball team set the stage for the night’s events with yet another victory. This time, Carolina downed the Maryland Terrapins, on their way out of the ACC, 3-2 in a thrilling contest to improve their overall record to 19-1 overall and 8-1 in ACC play.
The dance routines commenced soon after the volleyball match with even Head Coach Roy Williams jumped on the dance floor. The crowd was roaring and cheering on the Tar Heels as they broke it down to popular songs on the Dean Dome floor.
This year, the Blue-White scrimmage returned. And what a thrilling exhibition it was. Ultimately, the contest ended in a 50-50 tie. In the press room, Coach Williams says he was disappointed he wasn’t able to run either team in front of the crowd.
“I loved him [Paige] being willing to come down and take the shot and make it. I was sort of hoping he would miss so I could run somebody in front of all those people. I’ve never had that big of a crowd to watch my guys run, but other than that I was pleased with what went on,” Coach Williams says.
Sophomore Marcus Paige says the freshman are starting to get a wake-up call as to what college basketball level at this level is all about.
“We learned that we have to compete every possession. The freshmen got a little bit of a wake-up call. This is college basketball now. You can’t just use your raw ability to score over people and stuff like that,” Paige says.
Sophomore Joel James, in a joking mood, says the Late Night atmosphere was difficult, because he really doesn’t like playing in front of crowds.
“Honestly, I never like playing in front of crowds. It was a little scary, but full of adrenaline. It was exciting. After I made my first 15,000 mistakes, I calmed down. Coach Williams wasn’t pulling me out for those mistakes, so I was like okay, I can just play regular basketball,” James says.
Some of the standout performers were Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, and PJ Hairston. Hairston was greeted by an exceptionally loud cheer by the Tar Heels in attendance when he ran onto the court.
The Tar Heels next play an exhibition game against UNC-Pembroke on Friday.
LEAD-IN: On a chilly, but beautiful Carolina blue sky day in Chapel Hill, the 3-3 Boston College Eagles came calling for the 1-5 UNC Tar Heels.
And it didn’t take long for the Carolina offense to get going. Running back Ryan Switzer ran in for a touchdown to put the Tar Heels up 6-0 early. Unfortunately for Carolina, the extra point attempt was botched.
***Listen to the call***
The Eagles didn’t waste any time matching the score. Leading ACC rusher Andre Williams dashed to the end zone on a 56-yard play to put his team ahead 7-6 midway through the first quarter.
Quarterback Marquise Williams slung a beautiful completion to receiver Quinshad Davis to set the Tar Heels up for a good scoring opportunity as the first quarter came to a close in Kenan Stadium.
Williams scampered all the way to the 2-yard line for the Tar Heels to set up first and goal. And then running back A.J. Blue bashed the ball into the end zone to put Carolina ahead 13-7 with 13:35 left in the half.
***Listen to the call***
A heavy dose of Andre Williams greeted the Tar Heels in the next series, but a false start penalty committed by the Eagles set them back a bit on the drive. And a big third down play resulted in a textbook tackle by Jabari Price that forced a punt out of Boston College.
On the ensuing drive, Romar Morris started things off with a nice 13-yard run. And then quarterback Bryn Renner hurled a 33-yard completion to T.J. Thorpe to set up another great scoring chance for the Tar Heels.
Renner couldn’t escape the pressure on the next play and took a sack to move Carolina out of field goal range and set up another punt by Tommy Hibbard, who had a 76-yard boot earlier in the contest.
The Eagles went right back to well by handing off the ball to their main weapon, Williams in the backfield. And a 15-yard penalty of Carolina for personal foul handed Boston College a first down, but the Tar Heels responded nicely with a sack by Travis Hughes.
The Tar Heels rose up to hold the Eagles attack and got the ball back with 3:23 left in the half and two time outs still remaining in their pocket.
UNC wasted no time progressing the ball down the field highlighted by a solid strike from Renner to Davis. Tight end Eric Ebron picked up a first down on a third down carry to keep the drive alive as the clock kept ticking.
And then lightning struck for talented runner T.J. Logan as he sprinted ahead for a 35-yard completion. And then Bug Howard grabbed a short touchdown pass from Renner to push the Tar Heels ahead 20-7 with 52 ticks left on the clock for the half.
UNC played solid defense to close out the opening half of play in a sparsely populated, but spirited crowd in Kenan Stadium. At the half, it was Carolina up 20-7.
The halftime stat sheet showed the Tar Heels owning a 251-169 edge in total yards. Marquise Williams was the leading rusher for UNC with 40 yards and Bryn Renner was 14-16 for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile for BC, Andre Williams had tallied 131 yards and a touchdown to keep his team in the game at intermission.
Romar Morris began second half proceedings with a solid 17-yard dash to gain a Tar Heel first down. And a keeper by Renner picked up a first down on a short yardage situation on third down. Next, a big sack by Eagle defender Pierre Lewis killed momentum and forced UNC to punt the ball back to Boston College.
Now, the ball was back in the hands of the Eagles. And quarterback Chase Rettig picked up a clutch third down completion to move the chains. The Andre Williams show continued as he pummeled ahead for big yardage on second and long. But a Kareem Martin sack set up fourth down for the Eagles.
A miserable 17-yard punt by BC’s Nate Freese gave Carolina a golden opportunity to break the game wide open. But would they convert? No way. A three and out handed the ball right back to the team from Chestnut Hill.
Another holding call for the Eagles set them behind schedule on offense to start their series. Backed up deep in their own territory, BC quarterback Rettig was unable to come up with the goods. The series was ended with a second sack by Kareem Martin.
Third and eleven was upon the Tar Heel offense in a blink of an eye. And nothing happened on the third down play either. A punting affair was becoming the scene in Chapel Hill as both defenses were playing strongly.
A three and out for the Eagles gave Carolina another shot at the ball with 1:38 left in the third quarter. The game was turning into an exchange of punts.
Renner found Ebron for a 33-yard pick-up and then went back to the well again to pick up another Carolina first down inside the BC 20-yard line. Marquise Williams threw a touchdown pass to Howard to put the Tar Heels up 27-7 with a few seconds left in the third quarter in Kenan Stadium. That was Howard’s second touchdown of the game.
Heading into the final quarter of ACC action, it was the home team with a comforting 27-7 lead.
Boston College began things in the home stretch by pushing the ball into Tar Heel territory. But the Carolina defense stepped up big time, holding the Eagles on a crucial fourth down attempt to get the ball back in the driver’s seat with 12:02 left in the game.
No one can question Carolina’s commitment to the run game in this game. Despite the lowly 2.2 yard average per rush attempt, UNC continued to pound the ball, especially now in the final period of play.
A 17-yard scamper by Renner set the Tar Heels at first and 10 from the opposing 28-yard line. T.J. Logan followed that up with a 16-yard snag to give the offense a first down just outside the 10-yard line.
And Carolina hit pay dirt with a 4-yard touchdown run by Marquise Williams. Carolina was in command of this one now, up 34-7 with 8:59 left in the game.
With the outcome no longer in doubt and the sun falling behind the stands in Kenan, many fans began to filter out of the stadium a s the temperatures kept plummeting.
But the unseasonably chilly conditions couldn’t put a damper on the day for Carolina. The dual threat quarterback combo put on an impressive clinic and ran all over the Boston College defense.
At the close of play, it was the Tar Heels claiming a 34-10 victory and improving to 2-5 on the season.
CHAPEL HILL– Many Tar Heel football fans may assume this is the weekend UNC gets an easy home win over a bad Boston College squad, but one glance at their schedule changes all that.
Head Coach Larry Fedora says it’s important to look at who the Eagles have lost to this season.
“We’re trying to get ready for a good football team. The only losses are from USC, Clemson and Florida State. So we know it’s a good football team coming in here,” Coach Fedora says.
One of the challenges for the Tar Heels will be facing the ACC’s leading rusher on Saturday. BC’s Andre Williams has already racked up 838 yards on the ground. Coach Fedora says the defense will need to force some long yardage situations to exploit the passing game.
“We’ve got to really stop the run. That’s going to be the key to our defensive effort. We’ve got to stop the run. Now I don’t expect us to shut them out, but we’ve got to stop the run and put them in some long yardage situations and make them throw the football,” Coach Fedora says.
Freshman Dominique Green had a huge night for UNC on Zero Dark Thursday, but how has the true freshman found his way out on the field? Coach Fedora says he just has a knack for the game and his effort level is phenomenal.
“He has a knack, and he steps up and makes plays for us. He started doing it back in the spring and fall camp. He has continued to do it. He’s a true freshman getting better and better as we go. His best ball is all still out in front of him. There is no doubt about that. But the effort is there every single time,” Coach Fedora says.
What will be the ultimate keys to victory in Kenan Stadium this weekend? For one thing, Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels must win the turnover battle.
“We got to be physical, and we got to stop the run. We got to create some takeaways. You know we did that the other night, but we got to continue to do that. We just started, and we got to continue to do that,” Coach Fedora says.
Chilly football weather will be greeting the Tar Heel fans on Saturday. But the rare 3:30 p.m. kickoff time should put a smile on everyone’s face.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/coach-fedora-understands-bc-challenge/
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated
CHAPEL HILL– The 3-3 Boston College Eagles present the next challenge for a Tar Heel team hungry to get back in the win column.
Coach Addazio says he thinks the bye week came at the right time for the Eagles.
***Listen to the interview***
“We had come off a tough road game and a physical stretch of playing some pretty good opponents. We felt like we needed a chance to gather ourselves a little bit,” Coach Addazio says.
Boston College stayed competitive with both Florida State and Clemson earlier in the season; two of the top teams in the ACC. Coach Addazio says his team is learning how to play tough and physical through four quarters.
“We’re learning how to be a physical, tough team that plays with a lot of energy and a lot of passion. And that’s the footprint that we want here. I think that to this point we’ve been a scrappy hard-playing football team,” Coach Addazio says.
And with the ACC’s leading rusher, Andre Williams, in their backfield, the Eagles will be confident in their chances Saturday.
“He’s got a good offensive line in front of him. He’s a big, fast, physical guy. He’s 230 pound guy who runs a 4.5. He’s got speed and power, and he’s got a good front in front of him. So those combinations usually work pretty well,” Coach Addazio says.http://chapelboro.com/sports/acc/coach-addazio-bye-week-came-at-right-time-for-golden-eagles/
CHAPEL HILL– We are now just two days away from game day in Chapel Hill. And the Tar Heels are continuing their preparations for Boston College on Saturday.
Hoping to build off the solid performance in the Miami game for over three quarters, Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson says one of the biggest areas of improvement must come in the red zone.
“We got to be able to run the ball in the end zone. If people play coverage, we got to be able to run the ball in the end zone. We didn’t get that done. It’s obviously an issue. As far as points, we’ve got points more down there than we did this time last year. But we’re not scoring enough touchdowns,” Coach Anderson says.
Coach Anderson says running back T.J. Logan has unbelievable talent and explosion. And for that, he says Logan remains atop the Tar Heel depth chart.
“He did a great job stepping up in protection. He made some guys miss along the way. He shows a little bit of a burst that we weren’t having. […] At this point in time based off what we’ve seen at this point, he gives us the best chance to win,” Coach Anderson says.
Running back by committee is not what Coach Anderson envisions for his offense, but for now, he says they will primarily utilize the dual-threat attack of A.J. Blue and the aforementioned Logan.
“We’re trying to get the guy on the field that gives us the best chance to win. And right now, we feel like we kind of got a one-two punch with T.J. and Blue,” Coach Anderson says.
Coach Anderson says he expects the physical Boston College team will roll into Chapel Hill on Saturday fully expecting to take down the 1-5 Tar Heels, so the team better be firing on all cylinders in Kenan Stadium.
“They’ve got size, and they got several guys that stand out in terms of their motor. They play extremely hard. I would think they come in here chomping at the bit, expecting with our record, hey, this is one that we can win,” Coach Anderson says.
Starting tailback T.J. Logan says his immediate ascension to the starting role following his injury means a lot, because he knows the coaching staff has complete confidence in his abilities.
“It means that I feel like the coaching staff has confidence in me. I just can’t take that for granted. I’ve got to go out every day and try to work and grind and just help our team win games,” Logan says.