North Carolina 2011

North Carolina Statistics 2010

(ACC) The Tar Heels play on a grass field at Kenan Stadium (seats 60,000)

  • [Updated 7/27/2011] Butch Davis was in his 5th year as head coach at Carolinauntil he was suddenly fired on June 27th because according to the University “The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change.” This that they are referring to would be an NCAA investigation that began in the summer of 2010 and resulted in suspensions that involved 16 players, associate head coach John Blake being fired (and linked to an agent), academic fraud investigations of UNC tutor Jennifer Wiley who was once employed by Davis, and finally in June, formal charges to the UNC program of nine major violations.  And yet, Davis held his job throughout this entire time.  He most recently attended the ACC media day two days before this announcement.  And now for the second year in a row, UNC football finds itself unexpectedly dealing with a situation that is completely different than what they prepared for in the spring and summer.
  • How did this impact them a year ago?  The 2010 UNC spring team could have won a national championship. But the one that started in the fall was much different, thanks to the NCAA and school investigations that resulted in 16 players being suspended for some, if not all of 2010.  Not only did they not have warning time to prepare and adjust to the loss of players, they also lost several of their top players. Suspended players Robert Quinn (1st round), Marvin Austin (2nd round) and Greg Little (2nd round) were all so good that they were top selections in this year’s NFL Draft despite not having played since the 2009 season.  Overall, UNC had eight players selected in April’s NFL Draft.  And the fact that this team emerged after the 2010 season with an 8-5 record is a testament to how talented they were.
  • UNC didn’t have their top defensive linemen last year, but one positive aspect of the suspensions is that because other players had to step in and gain experience, they are in a better position this year. They essentially had no starters return on the defensive line in 2010 and therefore, they definitely are more experienced this year.
  • All four of their starting defensive backs were suspended for part of 2010 so they are actually better off this year despite losing all of their starters.  They return Charles Brown would have started but chose to redshirt and they have several other players who gained valuable starting experience in 2010.
  • In addition, offense suffered– between injuries and suspensions, the running back and receiver positions were often in flux in 2010. Even with the losses these groups suffer this year, they should be at least equal to if not better than last year.
  • The linebacker unit was the only not hit by suspensions last year. This year Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter are both off to the NFL, BUT they return their top two tacklers in Kevin Reddick and Zack Brown.
  • Quarterback Bryn Renner challenged Senior QB T.J. Yates in

    Quarterback Bryn Renner

    2010 and while he never overtook him, he did learn from him and says “everything I knew to be a college quarterback I learned from him—everything on the field and everything off.”  It was a good thing Renner was watching Yates’ senior year and not his junior (where he struggled and threw more interceptions than touchdowns).  Yates leaves UNC as the career passing leader and the first player in school history with over 3,000 yards passing in a season.

  • It may take some time to figure out the exact level of talent this team has now that the dust has begun to settle.  And they may just have the time to do that with an ACC schedule that doesn’t include Florida State and a non-conference schedule with  manageable opponents.  Because of that schedule, I think 11-2 is a very reasonable goal for the Tar Heels.

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