Ryan Houston might play football at North Carolina this season after all. UNC needs help in its offensive backfield after losing Johnny White, its starting tailback, to a season-ending injury in Saturday's 37-35 win at Florida State, and backup Shaun Draughn to an injured ankle. Houston, a senior, is redshirting after missing the first five games while UNC and the NCAA investigated the program for illegal agent contact and academic impropriety, but Coach Butch Davis could play him the rest of the season, starting on Saturday in a home game against Virginia Tech. "It is a possibility," Davis said. "It's something that Ryan and I discussed (Sunday).
A tough decision
The Winston Salem Journal
When North Carolina's Johnny White broke his right clavicle in the win against Florida State over the weekend, the Tar Heels not only lost their top running back for the remainder of the season but now also face a tough decision regarding the redshirt of another tailback.
White's injury leaves open the possibility that senior Ryan Houston, who led UNC in rushing a year ago, could make his season debut against Virginia Tech on Saturday (3:30 p.m., WTVD) to help a thin backfield. Senior Shaun Draughn, who is listed No. 1 on the depth chart this week, sprained his ankle against the Seminoles, and senior Anthony Elzy, who is listed as a backup fullback, is the only other player with significant experience running the ball.
White's injury sends Tar Heels looking for more answers in the backfield
The Durham Herald-Sun
North Carolina needs some healthy running backs - enough so that one player might burn his final year of eligibility to play in only a handful of games.
Injuries have UNC searching for more running backs
The Fayetteville Observer
While discussing the deep pool of running backs that Saturday's opponent Virginia Tech can pull from, North Carolina coach Butch Davis jokingly slipped back into NFL mode.
Tar Heels consider options at running back
The Burlington Times-News
The plan was for North Carolina running back Ryan Houston to redshirt this season, "barring any unforeseen incidents," according to coach Butch Davis.
Johnny White's season-ending injury during last week's win at Florida State might qualify as such an incident. There's a possibility Houston will play Saturday against No.16 Virginia Tech, Davis said.
Houston might play against Virginia Tech
The Charlotte Observer
Norkeithus Otis, one of the top high-school football players in the state, has decided to play in college for North Carolina.
Otis is a 6-3, 195-pound senior at Gastonia's Ashbrook High School, where he plays linebacker. He made his decision last Friday, after eliminating Florida from consideration.
He had 22 offers of grants-in-aid. Among the other programs that had offered him grants were Duke, Georgia Tech, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee. Otis said that a strong relationship with Art Kaufman, UNC's linebackers coach, and Everett Withers, the defensive coordinator, helped him decide.
Linebacker Otis says he'll play for Tar Heels
The Winston-Salem Journal
Virginia Tech took its first lead against Boise State midway through the third quarter on Ryan Williams' 1-yard touchdown run and Chris Hazley's point-after.
The Hokies' advantage in that Labor Day opener lasted less than a minute as Broncos running back D.J. Harper raced 71 yards for the go-ahead score.
'Twas the first of many breakdowns against the run this season and proved costly in a 33-30 defeat.
As 17th-ranked Virginia Tech hunts a place in the ACC championship game and a seventh consecutive season with at least 10 victories, will such lapses recur in road tests the next three weeks against Coastal Division rivals North Carolina, Miami and Virginia?
Will poor run defense bite Hokies late?
The Hampton Daily Press
The job of the Virginia Tech defense got a bit easier Saturday when the Heels' leading rusher, Johnny White, went out for the season with a broken collarbone.
Shaun Draughn, a hard-running veteran who had only recently returned from a suspension, also twisted an ankle against the Seminoles and his status is unknown.
Beamer: Hokies must take care of own business
The Virginian Pilot
Bad memories resurface. His head burrowed, Larry Drew is barely audible. One year, the junior was celebrating a national title. The next, he was wallowing in the NIT. This sudden, unexpected plunge was miserable. "It sucks," mumbles Drew at UNC's media day. "It sucks pretty bad."
How will Heels respond to last season's wake-up call?
The Fayetteville Observer