UNC Football vs. Miami

The 8-1 UNC football team will take on Miami in an ACC battle on Saturday, November 14th.  The game kicks off at 3:30 in Kenan Stadium.

You can listen to UNC Football vs. Miami on 97.9 FM and 1360 AM WCHL.

WCHL will broadcast Countdown to Kickoff with Ron Stutts from 12:30 until 2:30 from Hickory Tavern.  The UNC pregame show starts at 2:30 from Kenan Stadium.

The Tar Heels are sitting atop the ACC Coastal division after defeating the Duke Blue Devils 66-31 last Saturday.  Senior quarterback Marquise Williams completed 23-of-35 passes for 494 yards–a new school record–and accounted for five touchdowns in all. He also rushed for 30 yards, to finish with 524 total yards by himself–the first Tar Heel to ever break the 500 yard mark–in what was arguably the best performance ever by a UNC football player.

The performance launched the UNC football team from Number 21 to Number 17 in the AP Poll.  After being unlisted in the College Football Playoff rankings, Carolina is now Number 23.

The Miami Hurricanes will come into Chapel Hill with a 6-3 record.  The team is 2-0 since the firing of head coach Al Golden.  In the ACC Coastal division, Miami is tied for third place with Pittsburgh.

http://chapelboro.com/calendars/unc-football-vs-miami

UNC-Duke Football Pregame at Hickory Tavern

UNC-Duke football.  Tobacco Road football that matters in November.

Join WCHL at Hickory Tavern in Carrboro for your Tar Heel Football pregame festivities.

WCHL will be broadcasting “Countdown to Kickoff with Ron Stutts” from 9:00 until 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 7 on 97.9 FM, 1360 AM and online at Chapelboro.com.

The Tar Heels take on the Duke Blue Devils in Kenan Stadium at noon.  Carolina is 7-1 on the season and is looking to go 5-0 in the ACC after last week’s win over Pitt.  Despite Duke’s last-second loss against Miami, this game decides who will be in the driver’s seat in the ACC Coastal Division.

Hickory Tavern is located on 310-110 East Main Street in Carrboro.

While you are visiting Hickory Tavern, be sure to sign up for our Carolina Basketball Holiday Hoops in Brooklyn Giveaway.

 

 

http://chapelboro.com/calendars/unc-duke-football-pregame-at-hickory-tavern

UNC Football Selected As Preseason Favorite in ACC Coastal

As if there was any need for more pressure on this year’s UNC football team, the Tar Heels were officially named the favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division on Monday.

Based on a poll of 191 media members last week at the conference’s annual kickoff event, Clemson is projected to repeat as champion after receiving 144 first-place votes–but only after going through UNC in the league title game once again.

Although Florida State (39) garnered more first place votes than the Tar Heels (seven), the Seminoles compete in the same division as Clemson. This assures that the two schools won’t be able to play against each other for the conference championship in December.

The ACC also announced its preseason Player of the Year voting–which saw the Tigers’ star quarterback Deshaun Watson take home 166 first-place votes.

Mirroring the team projections, Florida State’s speedy tailback Dalvin Cook was second with 18 votes–while UNC’s bruising tailback Elijah Hood received four votes to end up third.

ACC Championship Votes

1.       Clemson – 144

2.       Florida State – 39

3.       North Carolina – 7

4.       Louisville – 1

 

Atlantic Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)                       

1.       Clemson (148) – 1,293

2.       Florida State (42) – 1,176

3.       Louisville (1) – 961

4.       NC State – 704

5.       Boston College – 441

6.       Syracuse  – 426

7.       Wake Forest – 347

Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)                       

1.       North Carolina (121) – 1,238

2.       Miami (50) – 1,108

3.       Pitt (14) – 859

4.       Virginia Tech (3) – 697

5.       Duke (2) – 597

6.       Georgia Tech (1) -588

7.       Virginia -261

ACC Player of the Year

1.       Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson – 164

2.       Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State – 18

3.       Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina – 4

t-4. Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami – 2

t-4. Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville – 2

5.       DeVon Edwards, CB/KR, Duke – 1

 

http://chapelboro.com/featured/unc-football-selected-as-preseason-favorite-in-acc-coastal

Larry Fedora and Ryan Switzer Have Fun at the ACC Kickoff

Larry Fedora and Ryan Switzer clearly had a lot of fun at the ACC Kickoff on Thursday.

Like several other ACC coaches and players, the pair played rounds of “Fruit Ninja” in virtual reality.

The ACC Digital Network also got Fedora and Switzer to go along with a fun bit based on a recent tweet from the wide receiver.  Back in June, Switzer noted that his coach did not follow him on Twitter.


His coach replied.

*you’re

That was June.  We are now in July.  According to this “report” by the ACC Digital Network, things are tense.

It’s possible that Fedora has been studying Roy Williams’ relationship with Brice Johnson.  If Switzer wisely follows his coach’s social media example, maybe he will get a follow.  Let’s take a peek at some of Fedora’s Twitter highlights.

That’s top-notch tweeting.  What does Switzer offer?

 

http://chapelboro.com/columns/larry-fedora-and-ryan-switzer-have-fun-at-the-acc-kickoff

Expectations at an All-Time High for UNC Football in 2016

Last season, the UNC football team set a pair of lofty goals—hoping to win the ACC Coastal Division for the first time, while also defeating their three biggest in-state rivals.

A year later, that mission has been accomplished.

As a result, the Tar Heels showed up in Charlotte at 2016’s ACC Media Day facing some of the highest expectations the program has ever seen.

With the amount of returning talent it has–both on offense and defense—UNC is among the favorites to claim the Coastal Division yet again.

Ryan Switzer has spent his first three years in  Chapel Hill making quite a name for himself--both as a returner and a receiver. (UNC Athletics)

Ryan Switzer has spent his first three years in
Chapel Hill making quite a name for himself–both as a returner and a receiver. (UNC Athletics)

The most important piece, though, is someone who’s never started a game.

New starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky—the first big-time recruit at his position under head coach Larry Fedora–spent the last two years learning behind Marquise Williams. Now he’ll finally get his chance to shine.

However, his transition will certainly be made easier by all of the veteran playmakers around him—including his roommate, senior wide receiver Ryan Switzer.

“I joke with Mitch all the time at the house about how fortunate he is to step into the position he’s in,” Switzer told reporters. “I don’t know of any other team that’s returning what we’re returning on offense.”

The agile slot-man is expected to be a huge focal point of the high-speed Tar Heel attack, but he’ll also be flanked by a pair of receivers 6-foot-4 or taller in Mack Hollins and Bug Howard.

Then there’s the bulldozer in the backfield—junior tailback Elijah Hood. After posting the second most prolific rushing season in school history as a sophomore, you can expect him to receive another heavy workload.

On top of that, the team returns four of its five starters on the offensive line.

“It’s not so much that we outdo ourselves, or outdo the numbers we put up,” Switzer said. “We just gotta continue to be more consistent on a drive-to-drive basis—and make sure that we don’t waste all the weapons we do have.”

While a majority of the media attention this offseason has been given to the UNC offense, the defense should be able to make yet another stride in its second year under defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.

Despite losing a pair of veteran linebackers in Jeff Schoettmer and Shakeel Rashad, young faces like Andre and Jonathan Smith are expected to bring a new level of explosiveness. T

he strength of the defense, though, should again be in the secondary–with senior Des Lawrence leading the way.

“We’re just trying to reach new heights,” Lawrence said Thursday. “I think that everybody is challenging themselves to be better—and that of course is gonna make our defense better.

Tar Heels vs Cavaliers

Physicality and aggressiveness are two of the defensive principles Gene Chizik has instilled in the Tar Heels since arriving as defensive coordinator prior to last season. (Photo via Smith Cameron Photography)

“Me personally, I’m challenging the secondary to be better than we were last year,” he continued. “I think we were top 10, top 15 [nationally] in most categories.”

As the countdown continues toward the Tar Heels’ season opener in Atlanta against Georgia—an SEC powerhouse loaded on both sides of the ball–it’s clear why Fedora doesn’t want expectations for his team blown out of proportion.

“We’re excited about [opening the season against Georgia],” Fedora said. “It’s kind of a measuring stick that says ‘Where are we at this point?’

“At the same time, we know that a game like that doesn’t make or break our season.”

The talent is there, yes, but the Tar Heels schedule also includes road games at Florida State and at Miami.

It’ll be a difficult task for UNC to repeat its 8-0 ACC record from 2015, but here in speculation season anything—and I mean absolutely anything–is possible.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/expectations-at-an-all-time-high-for-unc-football

Larry Fedora Plays Virtual Fruit Ninja, Has Beard

The above photo of Larry Fedora was taken during the 2015 football season.  As you may know, he looks a little different now.


UNC’s football coach sprouted a beard this offseason and he has taken it with him to the 2016 ACC Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte.  

Media days are opportunities for players and coaches to discuss the upcoming season.  But, the ACC is having some fun with it, also.  Fedora, wide receiver Ryan Switzer, and cornerback Des Lawrence are in attendance.

We have seen video of Fedora and Switzer playing a virtual reality version of “Fruit Ninja.”

That’s just a taste.  Below, you can see the full thing.  For those keeping score, Fedora beats Switzer.

Of course, it is not all fun and Fruit Ninja at the ACC Kickoff event.  The long-awaited ACC Network was announced by two alumni of the University of North Carolina, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/larry-fedora-plays-virtual-fruit-ninja-has-beard

UNC Football Adds Defensive Commit

UNC football picked up a commitment from a highly touted defensive back in the Class of 2017 on Monday.

Tre Shaw has played all over the defensive backfield for his Georgia high school, while also contributing on the offensive side.

Shaw chose UNC over scholarship offers from Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina.

Shaw announced his decision on Twitter Monday evening.

Shaw joins 14 other high school rising seniors who have committed to head coach Larry Fedora’s program.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-football-adds-defensive-commit

UNC Offensive Lineman John Ferranto Out for Season

Senior offensive lineman John Ferranto will miss the 2016 football season after tearing a left pectoral muscle during a Monday workout.

Ferranto had surgery Wednesday to repair the injury, according to UNC Athletics.  Dr. Alex Creighton performed the surgery at UNC Hospital.  Recovery time is expected to be six months.

John Ferranto has started in 17 of his 37 career games.  In his sophomore season, he started all 13 games for the Tar Heels.  In 2015, he started four games.  He is a native of Burlington, New Jersey.

Despite the injury, the Tar Heels will still enter the 2016 season with an experience offensive line.  Tackle Jon Heck was recently named to the Outland Trophy watchlist, an award given to the nation’s best interior lineman.  But, the group will still need to find a replacement for Landon Turner, the Tar Heels’ All-American guard who is now a member of the New Orleans Saints.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-offensive-lineman-john-ferranto-out-for-season

Ryan Switzer on Watch List for Hornung Award

Over the last three seasons at Kenan Stadium, a buzz has taken over the crowd each time 5-foot-10 wide receiver and punt return specialist Ryan Switzer gets his hands on the ball.

As he enters his senior year, it appears the rest of the nation is starting to recognize what those in Chapel Hill have known for a long, long time.

The Louisville Sports Commission named Switzer as one of 43 players on the watch list for the Hornung Award–which, for the last six years, has been given annually to the most versatile player in college football.

Tar Heels vs Cavaliers

With two more punt return touchdowns, Ryan Switzer’s name would stand alone in the NCAA record book. (Photo via Smith Cameron Photography)

Switzer led the Tar Heels in 2015 with 55 catches for 697 yards and six touchdowns. The two-time All-American returner also brought two punts back for scores despite many opponents making a conscious effort to kick the ball away from him.

He enters 2016 with seven career punt return touchdowns–just one shy of tying the all-time record set by former Texas Tech star Wes Welker.

A panel of college football experts compiled the Hornung Award Watch List using a combination of 2015 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2016 season.

It’s safe to say that Switzer has each of those boxes checked–and then some.

To win the trophy, however, he’ll have to outperform three of last year’s four finalists: RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford), WR/CB Adoree Jackson (Southern California) and LB/S Jabrill Peppers (Michigan).

Past winners and finalists include: Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU/New York Giants), Tavon Austin (West Virginia/Los Angeles Rams) and Randall Cobb (Kentucky/Green Bay Packers).

“I’m ecstatic that the Paul Hornung Award has gained national prominence in such a short time,” said Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner who played every position in the offensive backfield during his Notre Dame career–and was a triple threat halfback for the Green Bay Packers of the early 1960s.

“During the past six years the quality of our winners, finalists and weekly honorees has been impressive,” he added. “And I’m pleased that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their teams win the way I did.”

The award will be presented in late February at a banquet in downtown Louisville.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/ryan-switzer-on-watch-list-for-hornung-award

Good News Friday: Pre-season Honors Pour in for UNC Football

In covering the news and keeping the community informed, unfortunately we have to report a lot of bad news; but rest assured that every Friday throughout the summertime, when you tune into WCHL, we will have some good news to report to you!  That’s because it is “Good News Friday!”

Presented by The Strowd on Franklin Street, and their Shag Dance Fridays!

The-Strowd-pic-and-logo

Click here for The Strowd’s daily drink specials

 

Listen to Ron Stutts broadcast this week’s ‘Good News Friday’ featured story.

 

It is July 15th, and this week, the media is already talking A LOT about UNC Football.

The football season doesn’t start until September 3rd against Georgia in The Georgia Dome, before that stadium is turned into a parking lot, but this week, the national pre-season honors for UNC  are stacking up. On Wednesday, senior wide receiver Mack Hollins was named to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, going to the nation’s top receiver.

Having a player on a pre-season watch list for a national award is not new for UNC football, with Tar Heel greats like Julius Peppers, Dre Bly, Hakeem Nicks, Harris Barton and Lawrence Taylor receiving similar recognition; but this year, the collegiate football world isn’t just looking at Mack Hollins.

Senior center, Lucas Crowley was named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, going to the nation’s top center.

Senior Kicker Nick Weiler was named to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award going to the nation’s top place kicker, let’s hope he hasn’t cut his hair!!

Junior tailback Elijah Hood was named to the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, honoring the nation’s top running back; The Maxwell Award, honoring the nation’s best overall player; and don’t be surprised to hear and see Elijah in the discussion as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, having already been named a Heisman contender by various publications including Sports on Earth, Bleacher Report, and Pro Football Focus; with more to come.

The recognition is not just for players as Coach Larry Fedora was named to the watch list for The Bobby Dodd Trophy honoring the national head coach of the year.

We all know post-season recognition is a million times more important than pre-season recognition; and let’s hope there’s plenty of post-season recognition for the team, and for players such as new starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky. But with more pre-season acknowledgements possible for Ryan Switzer* and M.J. Stewart;  it’s SO much fun to be in the middle of July and have everyone talking about Carolina football!  AND THAT’S our ‘Good News Friday’ story of the week!

*UPDATE 1:35PM: Ryan Switzer named to the watch list for The Paul Hornung Award, honoring the most versatile player in the country.

Do you have any good news for us to share?  Send tips to NEWS@WCHL.COM using the subject line: Good News Friday.

 

http://chapelboro.com/lifestyle/good-news-friday/good-news-friday-pre-season-honors-pour-in-for-unc-football