Wednesday's practice notes

CHAPEL HILL -- UNC's football team took the field on Wednesday for the third time this training camp and for the first time in half-pads, per NCAA guidelines. Accordingly, the team will practice again in half-pads on Thursday and for the first time in full pads on Friday. Saturday marks the first day of two-a-days, which take place every other day, with a single practice on the days in between.

  • At this time the offense is still ahead of the defense, even though the defense is improving. Overall, the offensive line has really handled the defensive line the last two days, but each time the defense has bounced back.

    "I was wondering how our defense would respond the next time we came together as a team," Bunting said, "and we responded pretty well. We are a lot better at defending the run, and we really looked good in the secondary. If we learn how to stop the running game, we are going to be pretty good because we are very active on the back end."

  • Bunting is feeling good about the running game this season with experience on the offensive line and depth for support. One or two freshman offensive linemen could play this season if necessary, but the fruits of recruiting over the past couple of years will probably allow them to red-shirt them all.

    "We were pretty good there last year," Bunting said, "and we are going to be really good this year. Jason Brown, Willie McNeil, and Skip Seagraves--those guys have played and they have an attitude. They have a real attitude about what they are doing and how we want to play the game. That will be really helpful, and it will be important that we set the tempo with the offensive line."

  • Now, with the addition of LSU transfer Barrington Edwards, Bunting says that he feels they have taken another step in solidifying the running game for the future, after the graduation of Jacque Lewis and Chad Scott.

    "It puts our running back position better," Bunting said. "It's better than it's been. I'm very worried that we are graduating two seniors and there is only one scholarship player that has played football. The two new kids that are coming in are going to be very fine football players. We still need to go out and get two more running backs to make our job complete. We really have to recruit hard this coming recruiting class to get two more. This really helps us with the future over the next couple, three years."

  • The new place kickers are really getting the attention of the rest of the players on the team, according to Bunting. "All three guys, nailing it," he said. "Two days in a row now Connor Barth has been one yard short of a 57-yard field goal. That kid has leg. Both the other kickers are nailing it into the end zone during the kick-off return drills. There is great competition there. Our players got excited about it. They know we have great potential and we can play with people. We just have to work every day."

  • New quarterback signee Joey Bozich is easing into the fray, according to Bunting. "He basically walked out on to the field, held his helmet, and watched," he said. "Then he jogged around a little bit. We won't see much of him. We'll do a little bit more tomorrow and a little more the next day."

    Originally, his plans were to go to prep school and join the team in January, but 2004 quarterback signee Michael Rozier's choice to sign a baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox has push his schedule up by a semester.

  • Larry Edwards Q&A

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