Week 11: North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina (1-9) has struggled this season, but the Tar Heels have won two straight over NC State and are looking for a victory in John Bunting's final home game.

North Carolina Quick Facts

Chapel Hill, N.C.
Enrollment: 26,800
Nickname: Tar Heels
School Colors: Blue & White
Stadium: Kenan (60,000)
Conference: ACC

Head Coach:
John Bunting
Record at UNC: 25-45 (5+ years)
2005 Record: 5-6
2005 Current Record: 1-9
2006 Ranking: None

North Carolina Game Notes

Saturday's game is the final home game for 18 seniors, including starters Shelton Bynum, Brian Chacos, Larry Edwards, Jon Hamlett, Jesse Holley, Ronnie McGill, Brian Rackley, Kareen Taylor, D.J. Walker, Jacoby Watkins, David Wooldridge and Victory Worsley. McGill ranks 10th at Carolina with 2,260 career rushing yards, while Holley is ninth with 1,698 career receiving yards.

Other seniors to be honored on Saturday include Melik Brown, Roger Heinz, Joe Kedra, Jonathan Lane, Patrick Marsh and Ryan Salone.


  • Six of the 10 opponents Carolina has faced this season are ranked in this week's AP Top 25 poll.
  • ACC Rookie of the Year candidate Hakeem Nicks is second in the ACC in receiving yards with 543. He needs just six catches and 66 yards to set Carolina's single-season marks for receptions and receiving yards by a freshman. He set a UNC single-game freshman record with 171 receiving yards at Notre Dame.
  • WR Jesse Holley has caught at least one pass in 28 consecutive games, the secondlongest active streak in the ACC behind Clemson's Chansi Stuckey.
  • Former walk-on Durell Mapp had back-to-back games with at least 10 tackles (14 vs. ND, 10 vs. GT) and now leads the team with 70 stops.
  • Ronnie McGill leads the team with 42 points. The last non-kicker to lead Carolina in scoring was Leon Johnson in 1996 (72 points).


  • An F-15 fly-over will take place at the conclusion of the national anthem prior to kickoff of the NC State game. Practice runs will take place over Kenan Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 16 between 3-4 p.m. The F-15C's are part of the 2D Fighter Squadron from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

    The 10 teams Carolina has faced this season are a combined 75-26 (.743). Rutgers is 9-0 and ranked seventh in the Associated Press poll, Virginia Tech is 8-2 and ranked 19th, Furman is 8-3, Clemson is 8-3 and ranked 25th, Miami is 5-5, USF is 7-3, Virginia is 4-6, Wake Forest is 9-1 and ranked 14th, Notre Dame is 9-1 and ranked 6th and Georgia Tech is 8- 2 and ranked 18th. In the Sagarin rankings, North Carolina has faced the nation's eighth-toughest schedule thus far.

    Making his third consecutive start, redshirt freshman cornerback Jermaine Strong played an important role in limiting Georgia Tech to just seven points and 221 yards of total offense in Carolina's 7-0 loss. Matched up against All-America wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Strong had five tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. Strong forced Johnson to fumble after a catch (would have been a 4-yard loss) and Carolina recovered the ball.

    Strong also broke up a pass to Johnson, knocking the ball in the air and right into the hands of teammate Chase Rice for an interception. Strong helped hold Johnson to just three catches for 13 yards and Georgia Tech was limited to just 78 yards passing.

    North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is making a push for ACC Rookie of the Year honors. The freshman from Charlotte, N.C., ranks second in the league with 543 receiving yards and is averaging 60.3 yards per game. Among ACC wideouts with at least 25 receptions, Nicks is third in yards per catch at 17.0 (32 for 543).

    Against Notre Dame, Nicks set a UNC single-game freshman record with 171 receiving yards on six catches. The previous record was 165 yards by Octavus Barnes vs. Duke in 1994. Nicks caught touchdown passes of 13 and 72 yards against the Irish. The 72-yarder was the the Tar Heels' longest play from scrimmage this year and tied for the 20thlongest pass play in school history.

    With 32 catches, Nicks is just six receptions shy of Kory Bailey's freshman record of 38 in 1998. UNC's freshman record for receiving yards in a season is 609 by Octavus Barnes in 1994.

    Senior linebacker Larry Edwards, who missed three games after fracturing his collarbone in the loss to USF, returned for the Georgia Tech game.

    "Nothing surprises me about that kid," said head coach John Bunting. "He worked very hard to get back before the end of the year."

    Edwards started against the Yellow Jackets, but had to leave the game after spraining his ankle in the first half. Edwards was ruled out of the game for good, but after an x-ray did not reveal a break, he returned in the second half and finished with five tackles.

    Press Conference Quotables
    Head Coach John Bunting

    I'll begin by addressing yesterday's news that Butch Davis is the next head coach here at Carolina. I've met or spoken with Butch on a few occasions, and that is the extent of our relationship. I certainly wish him well here, and I'll do whatever I can to help him if he'd like that help. There are several pieces of our program that are on solid footing, including our team's academic performance, our current recruiting class and the fact that we redshirted almost this entire class. I think he'll be inheriting some good things. He's got some work to do, and I wish him well. Other than that, I want to discuss N.C. State and answer questions related to this week's game and our football team.

    On where he's seen the biggest improvement in the last three games
    Well, I see improvement, but we still have the same problem: inconsistency. We haven't played well together as a team the whole year - not one game where the whole team played together. That's why we're at where we're at. That's what this game is all about. Playing as a team. Working together. One phase will play well; the other phase doesn't. All three phases need to be in sync to have success, and we haven't had success because we have never been able to do that.

    On N.C. State:
    I feel their pain. They have, recently, some of the same problems. I think their defense has played very well. Their offense has played well at times. They've made some big plays at times. The way they controlled that football last week versus Clemson, particularly in the first half, was absolutely very impressive. They've got a couple good runners. I think their quarterback has done a fine job coming in mid-way and taking over. Mistakes are what hurt you in any game, and, occasionally, they'll break down. We've seen a lot of that on our end, last week being no exception - with great protection and receivers open and us not finding the connection. Defensively, they're always good despite the changes on the back of the jerseys. They play hard. They're in your face. They're aggressive. They've had a break or two not go their way. They've lost several close games, which we can relate to here some. They're playing hard, they're playing physical and they're in the games each week until the end, which I can relate to some last year - matter of fact a lot last year - and a little bit this year. You want to come out on the winning side of those things. Lately, they've not been able to do it. This game now between us is a great rivalry game, and it's not hard to get your players ready to play emotionally. Hopefully, they play smart and together and for 60 minutes.

    On what this game means to him:
    I take every game very, very personally. But the N.C. State-North Carolina rivalry is special. It's unique.

    On if he has any special emotions about this being his last home game:
    Not really. Each day I come to work or each day I leave work I know that there's a limit to how much this will continue. When you deal with finality in things, you begin to deal with them. I've dealt with that a while ago.

    On watching players he recruited play their final home games:
    Well, that will be difficult, and it always is. These are pretty much one of my first full classes - this class. They are some special kids in this class, and I certainly never envisioned that we'd be here talking like this. But it's still something that's extremely important to me that they have some success this season. They deserve it in some ways, and of course, you always have to go out and earn it. I'm hopeful that they will play their best games here at home in front of their people, in front of their fans, and have some success. That would give me great pleasure.

    On if Larry Edwards is full strength:
    He will practice limited today. He did some things last evening. This is a different injury than he had, so we're going to watch how he practices today, see how he gets around, and then see what he's like tomorrow. We're thinking this is more like a bruise than a sprain, so hopefully, as the week progresses, he'll get better.

    On N.C. State's running game:
    They come in the Clemson game and they just are running the ball. Out of multiple personnel groups, tight formations, spread formations. [Toney] Baker who we all know is a great back. A couple plays to Andre Brown. They absolutely dominated that first half running the football. A lot of third-and-shorts - just what you want. So they did a tremendous job beginning that game, and then Clemson managed somehow to get back some control of it themselves.... They are a team that has been so close so many times. Those things just start to really gnaw at you as a player and as a coach. But this week will be a different story.

    North Carolina Two-Deep Depth Chart


    Wide Receiver

    9 - Jesse Holley (6-3, 210, Sr., Roselle, N.J.)

    87 - Brandon Tate (6-1, 190, So., Burlington, N.C.)

    Left Tackle

    65 - Brian Chacos (6-4, 310, Sr., Darien, Conn.)

    94 - Andre Barbour (6-6, 298, Fr.*, Atlanta, Ga.)

    Left Guard

    77 - Charlston Gray (6-3, 295, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas)

    76 - Bryon Bishop (6-3, 300, So., Union, S.C.)


    64 - Scott Lenahan (6-1, 290, Jr., Marietta, Ga.)

    63 - Ben Lemming (6-5, 300, So., Houston, Texas)

    Right Guard

    79 - Calvin Darity (6-3, 295, So., Tallahassee, Fla.)

    63 - Ben Lemming (6-5, 300, So., Houston, Texas)

    Right Tackle

    63 - Ben Lemming (6-5, 300, So., Houston, Texas)

    75 - Garrett Reynolds (6-7, 300, So., Knoxville, Tenn.)

    72 - Kyle Jolly (6-6, 305, Fr.*, Powhatan, Va.)

    Tight End

    86 - Jon Hamlett (6-4, 260, Sr., Lynchburg, Va.)

    94 - Andre Barbour (6-6, 298, Fr.*, Atlanta, Ga.)


    12 - Joe Dailey (6-1, 205, Jr., Jersey City, N.J.)

    11 - Cam Sexton (6-1, 190, Fr.*, Laurinburg, N.C.)


    43 - Nick Starcevic (6-2, 245, So., Charlotte, N.C.)

    4 - Bobby Rome (5-11, 240, Fr.*, Norfolk, Va.)


    25 - Ronnie McGill (5-11, 220, Sr., Clover, S.C.)

    29 - Justin Warren (6-1, 198, Junior, Germantown, Md.) OR

    5 - Barrington Edwards (6-0, 220, Jr., Bowie, Md.)

    Wide Receiver

    88 - Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 210, Fr., Charlotte, N.C.)

    1 - Brooks Foster (6-3, 200, So., Boiling Springs, S.C.)


    Left End

    42 - Brian Rackley (6-5, 270, Sr., Tallahassee, Fla.)

    58 - Melik Brown (6-2, 260, Sr., Camden, N.J.)

    Defensive Tackle

    90 - Kentwan Balmer (6-5, 288, Jr., Weldon, N.C.)

    74 - Kyndraus Guy (6-2, 280, Jr., Hope Mills, N.C.)

    Defensive Tackle

    75 - Shelton Bynum (6-5, 300, Sr., Ellenwood, Ga.)

    93 - Cam Thomas (6-4, 315, Fr.*, Eagle Springs, N.C.)

    Right End

    33 - Hilee Taylor (6-3, 241, Jr., Lauringburg, N.C.)

    92 - E.J. Wilson (6-2, 260, Fr.*, Lawrenceville, Va.)

    89 - Bowen Chapman (6-3, 245, Jr., Lexington, Ky.)

    Sam Linebacker

    32 - Larry Edwards (6-2, 235, Sr., Tampa, Fla.)

    51 - Wesley Flagg (6-0, 215, Fr., Fayetteville, N.C.)

    Mike Linebacker

    54 - Victor Worsley (6-1, 235, Sr., Battleboro, N.C.)

    41 - Mark Paschal (6-0, 225, So., Charlotte, N.C.)

    Will Linebacker

    48 - Durell Mapp (6-2, 225, Jr., Burlington, N.C.)

    44 - Chase Rice (6-3, 220, So., Asheville, N.C.)

    36 - Kennedy Tinsley (6-0, 210, Fr.*, Greensboro, N.C.)

    Right Cornerback

    16 - Jacoby Watkins (6-0, 180, Sr., Laurinburg, N.C.)

    35 - Bryan Bethea (5-10, 185, Jr., Fayetteville, N.C.)

    Free Safety

    28 - D.J. Walker (6-0, 185, Sr., Pisgah Forest, N.C.)

    2 - Cooter Arnold (5-10, 190, So., Mocksville, N.C.)

    Strong Safety

    27 - Kareen Taylor (6-0, 200, Sr., Hopewell, Va.)

    28 - D.J. Walker (6-0, 185, Sr., Pisgah Forest, N.C.)

    Left Cornerback

    38 - Jermaine Strong (5-10, 185, Fr.*, Shelby, N.C.)

    3 - Quinton Person (5-11, 185, Jr., Greenville, N.C.)



    10 - Connor Barth (6-1, 190, Jr., Wilmington, N.C.)

    38 - Lane Clemmons (5-10, 220, Jr., Fayetteville, N.C.)


    45 - David Wooldridge (6-2, 215, Sr., Advance, N.C.)

    17 - John Choate (6-2, 180, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.)

    Deep Snapper

    91 - Michael Murphy (6-2, 231, Jr., Goldsboro, N.C.) - FGs,PATs

    63 - Patrick Marsh (6-1, 225, Sr., Mooresville, N.C.) - Punts

    Kick Off Return

    87 - Brandon Tate (6-1, 190, So., Burlington, N.C.)

    37 - Kendric Williams (5-11, 190, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.)

    88 - Hakeem Nicks (6-1, 210, Fr., Charlotte, N.C.)

    Punt Return

    87 - Brandon Tate (6-1, 190, So., Burlington, N.C.)

    3 - Quinton Person (5-11, 185, Jr., Greenville, N.C.)

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