Howell didn’t want a Heisman publicity campaign; he just wants to win

By R.L. Bynum CHARLOTTE — Sam Howell has rare qualities beyond the talent that make him a lock to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft next year. Most other players entering a season with such lofty expectations would revel in the attention, crave more of it and gladly embrace the Heisman Trophy hype. …

Chandler’s talent, experience important as UNC tries to replace Williams and Carter

By R.L. Bynum CHARLOTTE — Nearly all of the offensive line is back and a Heisman Trophy candidate is at quarterback to lead the offense. But with the loss of the dynamic running back combination of Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, one of the biggest questions surrounds what North Carolina’s running game will look like …

Howell, UNC provide glimpse of why expectations are so high

By R.L. Bynum On a rainy, messy spring day at Kenan Stadium, fans got a glimpse of Carolina’s Heisman Trophy candidate and a look at other key elements that will make the Tar Heels a highly ranked team next season. Sam Howell connected on 6 of 10 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown and …

UNC will be back to finishing football season against N.C. State in 2021, opens at Virginia Tech

By R.L. Bynum After playing rival N.C. State in the middle of the season for the first time since 2013, it will be back to facing the Wolfpack in the regular-season finale again in the 2021 season. This season, the rivals will play on the day after Thanksgiving. Carolina’s football schedule, in likely the final …

Tar Heels in NFL: Big NFL debut for Antonio Williams; several UNC alums make playoffs

By R.L. Bynum The feel-good Week 17 story for Carolina fans was Antonio Williams’ NFL debut for the Buffalo Bills. In the Bills’ 56–26 home win over the Miami Dolphins, Williams ran for 63 yards and two touchdowns and caught a pass for 20 more yards. https://twitter.com/BuffaloBills/status/1345831696386699265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1345831696386699265%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.syracuse.com%2Fbuffalo-bills%2F2021%2F01%2Fwho-is-antonio-williams-bills-udfa-rb-scores-twice-in-buffalos-week-17-win.html It was an impressive first game for Williams, …

UNC’s defense shines for three quarters before Texas A&M surges to victory

By R.L. Bynum MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. –– North Carolina players at the Orange Bowl heard the doubters who didn’t give the Tar Heels a chance after four stars opted out of the game against the highest-ranked team to miss the College Football Playoff. The defensive unit, which was shaky at times during the regular season, …

Game planning on Christmas gives way to redistribution process for UNC’s Longo

By R.L. Bynum North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo enjoyed a high-energy Christmas morning with his four kids and spent that afternoon coming up with a game plan for the Orange Bowl against Texas A&M. The morning gave him some nice holiday memories but the work he did in the afternoon had a short shelf …

UNC dealing with offensive reboot heading into Orange Bowl

By R.L. Bynum When you’re about to play the program’s first major bowl game in 71 years, it isn’t the best time to reboot an offense. But that’s just what No. 13 North Carolina is doing after its two best running backs and one of its best receivers opted out of the Orange Bowl. Running …

Now 15th in CFP rankings, one hurdle between UNC and Orange Bowl

The Tar Heels head to the Orange Bowl if No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson make the College Football Playoff By R.L. Bynum There is only one remaining hurdle between North Carolina and a trip to the program’s first major bowl since 1950 after the Tar Heels leapfrogged over Miami in the latest …

Tar Heels in NFL: Resurgent Trubisky has big game as Bears roll

By R.L. Bynum Critics have targeted the Chicago Bears ever since they selected Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. That criticism has been valid. But, for one Sunday, Trubisky looked better than both of those other 2017 picks as he outplayed …