UNC's QB Depth Chart in Motion

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Butch Davis spoke to reporters prior to Wednesday afternoon's practice, and the third-year UNC head coach broke down the quarterback situation behind starter T.J. Yates, as well as detailing Connecticut's no-huddle offense.

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Butch Davis Pre-Practice
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* While Saturday's 40-6 victory over The Citadel was rather mundane, there was one development that caused a stir amongst the UNC fan base – when Braden Hanson replaced starting quarterback T.J. Yates instead of the perceived No. 2 option in Mike Paulus.

Davis was asked about that decision on Wednesday afternoon.

"Early in training camp, Mike was running a significant amount of time with the 2's," Davis replied. "Both of those quarterbacks got time – a little bit – with the 1's and we gave T.J. a break. Just watching scrimmages, watching blitz drills, watching team performances and those kinds of things, there was a slight little bit of an edge at that particular time for Braden."

There was speculation that maybe Paulus was held out due to a minor injury, but that apparently was not the case.

"We actually really wanted to get Mike into the game," Davis said. "If we don't muff the last two punts, Mike was going into the game the last 4-5-6-7 minutes or however many possessions that we would have had."

It's important to note that UNC's depth chart is strictly written in pencil and not with any type of permanent ink.

"It'll be an ongoing situation – nothing's ever etched in stone," Davis said. "It may change from week-to-week. Bryn Renner may end up being No. 2 in a couple of weeks. Who knows?

"The only thing I can tell you is that people's evaluation of any of the players is based on how they do – it has zero to do with how they were recruited and it has zero to do with five-star or four-star [rankings]. It's all about performance. On this team, nobody cares what your bio says. They only care if you can help us win. If you're the best guy, that's the way it's going to have to be."

* Connecticut's offense was vastly one-sided last fall, with Donald Brown running the ball for 2,083 yards, so head coach Randy Edsall hired Akron offensive wiz Joe Moorhead as coordinator/quarterbacks coach to implement a spread scheme that features an up-tempo style with multiple no-huddle looks. The Huskies put that no-huddle approach on display in Saturday's 23-16 victory over Ohio.

"They went at a very, very fast pace," Davis said. "They called a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage. It's very similar to what a lot of teams do – get in the formation, line up, get under center, start the count, let you declare [your defensive set] and then the quarterback looks to the sideline for the play…You better be dug in and ready, because they did show that you could tell that they either had the second play called or they got to the line of scrimmage and they knew what they wanted to do and they went ahead and did it."

The no huddle should not affect Davis' preference of rotating defensive players since UNC primarily switches in between series, not during.

"The rules are if they change personnel groupings, we are allowed the opportunity to match up," Davis said. "So it's not like they can go from two tight ends and two wide receivers to four wide receivers and catch us with not being able to get into the nickel."

Davis' NFL experience with Dallas has paid dividends this week, as the Cowboys were forced to prepare for Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills' no huddle offense during the late-80s and early-90s. To help simulate that up-tempo approach, the Tar Heels are running two complete sets of defensive skill players to the line of scrimmage on alternating plays in practice.

* Saturday marked sophomore Casey Barth's first ball game serving as UNC's kickoff specialist in addition to his '08 role as the field goal/PAT placekicker. Despite missing his first career PAT attempt due to a bad snap, the Wilmington, N.C. native connected on two field goal attempts from 22 and 40 yards, respectively.

"I think he's a stronger kicker this year," said Davis, adding that Barth consistently connected on 50-yard-plus field goals in training camp. "I think his distance is better than it was a year ago. I think he's a little older and more mature and he's got a lot more game experience under his belt."

As for Barth's debut in booting kickoffs, the third-year UNC head coach provided this response: "I thought he hit the ball well the other night. I think he's capable of adding a little bit more. I think he was a little cautious about kicking it just because he didn't want to mishit any kicks. I think as he gains some more confidence that will improve also."


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