Wednesday scrimmage notes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina simulated a full half of football that went late into Wednesday night at Kenan Stadium. There were no significant injuries, which to UNC coach John Bunting was the brightest news of all.

"We're out healthy, and that's always No. 1," Bunting said. "I don't think we had any serious damage, and that's great."

It marked the first time since the Spring Game the Tar Heels had come this close to a game like procedure. Yet no score was kept, and only minimal statistics were available following the practice which was closed to all media not sanctioned by the University.

Running the ball, McGill rushed for 79 yards on seven carries, including a 41-yard touchdown scamper.

Jacque Lewis was 3-38, and Chad Scott was 5-24.

Durant was 3-for-8 passing, for 74 yards.

According to Bunting, it was an opportunity to fine tune situations pertaining to clock management, structural alignments and substitution configurations.

"It was all magnified tonight, and we weren't good; we weren't good at all," Bunting said. "So now maybe we can emphasize just how important those little things are. I'm glad we got some of those things worked out, to see just how close we are to being ready to play a real game."

However, a penalty prone offense did not take away from a defense that apparently made some strides in the direction of respectability. The UNC coaches and select players certainly were impressed.

"Those guys have improved so much," said sophomore wide receiver Adarius Bowman, who hauled in five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown pass from junior backup quarterback Matt Baker. "They were out there making plays. In team situations, they stopped us twice. I compliment those guys. They've stepped up their games, and that's what we need."

  • A week ago Bunting said Baker was clearly the backup quarterback, while red-shirt freshman Roger Heinz was "in the hunt." But in an almost simultaneous interview with Inside Carolina, Heinz said he was under the impression he was in a dead heat with Baker for the No. 2 spot – citing what he was being told by the coaches.

    Now it seems Heinz has made up any gap that may or may not have existed, as Bunting declared on Wednesday the race was "up for grabs."

    "It's not done," Bunting said.

    However Baker outshined Heinz in the scrimmage from a numbers standpoint. Baker completed 8-for-14 passes for 60 yards.

  • For the most part, Bunting applauded the play of the defense. He stipulated while it was not a perfect performance, the front seven "flew around the ball."

    "I was very pleased with the effort of the defense," he said. "Fred Sparkman stood out. Gerald Sensabaugh stood out. Larry Edwards made some plays."

  • Bunting said excessive penalties led to his overall displeasure with the performance of the offense. There were far more penalties committed by the offense than on Saturday.

  • Senior tackle Skip Seagraves is "expected" to return to practice on Thursday, though that is not yet confirmed.

  • After Friday's scheduled practice, Bunting said the players will have Saturday and Sunday off, and then resume practice on Monday as Game Week preparations begin for William & Mary.

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