North Carolina's numerous problems aren't going away any time soon, but at least some appear to have eased in severity. The defense, which is missing six starters because of two investigations into the program, is coming off its best game of the season, and will try for a second consecutive solid effort on Saturday when East Carolina will visit Kenan Stadium.
Tar Heels say they are filling in holes
The Winston Salem Journal
North Carolina coach Butch Davis said Monday that he saw his players smile for the first time in probably six weeks after beating Rutgers on Saturday for their first victory of the season.
The Tar Heels' young defense showed signs of growth and played its best games of the year, coming up with two huge stops deep in UNC territory late in the game to seal the win.
What doesn't have the Tar Heels smiling, however, are the turnovers by the offense.
Too many turnovers for Heels
The Durham Herald-Sun
Finally, North Carolina has something to be happy about.
After enduring the scrutiny of NCAA and school investigations, the loss of half their defense and two narrow defeats to start the season, the Tar Heels pulled out their first win last Saturday against Rutgers, 17-13.
The victory has put UNC (1-2) in a better mood as it prepares to face in-state rival East Carolina (2-1) in Kenan Stadium on Saturday.
North Carolina relieved after first win
The Fayetteville Observer
During a phone call in the summer of 2008, Mike Merletti, the older brother of North Carolina safety Matt Merletti, was feeling out his brother for possible birthday gifts. Given that Mike, an Army Ranger, was stationed in Iraq at the time, his options were limited.
As it turned out, he was uniquely able to fulfill this request.
Tar Heels safety offers different slant on version of flag football
The Burlington Times-News
North Carolina could hardly afford any more hits to its depth.
Then came Saturday's 17-13 road win against Rutgers, and the Tar Heels (1-2) lost running back Johnny White to an injury in the third quarter, followed by linebacker Quan Sturdivant getting hurt in the fourth quarter.
Tar Heels' depth hurt again as injuries sideline 2 starters
The Charlotte Observer
Perhaps the most concrete change to come out of East Carolina football's bye week was an adjusted depth chart for this weekend's showdown with North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
McNeill tweaks Pirates' lineup
The Daily Reflector
Any added importance heaped upon East Carolina's in-state game Saturday will come from the outside, Pirates coach Ruffin McNeill said Monday.
The first-year coach told reporters at his weekly news conference that this week's game at North Carolina won't be held in higher regard than any of ECU's first three.
Pirates focus on selves, not rivalry for UNC matchup
The Gaston Gazette