Tar Heels in NFL: Williams has best day of four rookies making debuts; Brown starts

By R.L. Bynum Four rookies out of UNC made quiet NFL debuts Sunday, with Washington wide receiver Dyami Brown the only one who started. Javonte Williams had the best day with 14 rushes for 45 yards and played 34 snaps in the Denver Broncos’ 27–13 road victory over the New York Giants. In the only …

UNC moves up in both national polls

By R.L. Bynum On the strength of North Carolina’s one-sided victory Saturday over Georgia State, the Tar Heels moved up three slots in both national polls. The Tar Heels (1–1) moved from No. 24 to No. 21 in the AP poll and jumped from No. 22 to No. 19 in the coaches poll after their …

Green emerges as a dangerous receiver for UNC

By R.L. Bynum CHAPEL HILL — Two of the major offensive questions coming off of the opener for No. 24 North Carolina surrounded a talented but inexperienced wide receiver group. The deep passing game was missing in the 17–10 loss at Virginia Tech and quarterback Sam Howell’s only reliable receiver was Josh Downs. No other …

UNC wins big as offensive line tries to work out issues

By R.L. Bynum CHAPEL HILL — Carolina rebounded from a frustrating opening-game loss, but the Tar Heels’ offensive line showed that it’s still a work in progress. UNC’s offense got off to a hot start in Saturday night’s home opener and scored 28 points in a nine-minute second-half stretch. But the Tar Heels’ inability to …

Bernard helps Bucs win; when will other Tar Heels play during Week 1 of the NFL?

By R.L. Bynum Giovani Bernard was the first of the 14 Tar Heels on NFL active rosters to play on the season’s opening weekend when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Dallas Cowboys 31–29 on Thursday night. Bernard, in his first season with Tampa Bay after playing eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been …

Downs seizes the moment, unleashes his speed on sensational score

By R.L. Bynum When you are a receiver with Josh Downs’ speed, there are moments during a game when you realize you can turn a routine play into a game-changing moment. One of those moments came late in the third quarter Friday night at Virginia Tech, when Carolina quarterback Sam Howell threw a short pass …

UNC plummets in both national polls

By R.L. Bynum Mack Brown has been saying that his Tar Heels weren’t a top 10 team and, after a frustrating opening-game 17–10 loss Friday at Virginia Tech, it’s official. North Carolina dropped 14 slots from No. 10 to No. 24 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll released Tuesday. It’s a larger fall …

Ruder leads North Texas to victory, talks about his time at UNC; Fortin struggles in loss

By R.L. Bynum Former UNC quarterbacks Jace Ruder and Cade Fortin had dramatically different first games as sophomore starters for other schools. Ruder, who had been listed last week as the co-starter with sophomore Austin Aune, started as North Texas rolled to a home win Saturday night over Northwestern State 44–14. Fortin and South Florida …

Gimmel spoke up with senior leadership after UNC’s loss

By R.L. Bynum After an outcome like the one in Blacksburg, Va., on Friday night that nobody expected, Jeremiah Gimmel, one of Carolina’s senior leaders, spoke up and addressed a Lane Stadium locker room full of frustrated Tar Heels. The inside linebacker’s message after No. 10 UNC’s 17–10 opening-game loss to Virginia Tech was simple: …

Brown says “the shine’s off” after rough night in Blacksburg

By R.L. Bynum Maybe Mack Brown wasn’t just talking his team down when he said that although a lot of people said his team is good, they still have to prove it. That’s still the case after Friday night’s 17–10 loss in No. 10 North Carolina’s opener at Virginia Tech. There’s still time to show …