Carolina can’t recover from first-half struggles, runs out of time at Florida State

By R.L. Bynum There were hints that North Carolina’s young and thin defense had flaws during the first two games of the season. When Virginia Tech scored 31 second-half points last week, it became more apparent but was masked by a productive offensive game. In Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday night, there was no hiding the …

Tar Heels’ ‘publicity is ahead of where they are on the field,’ Brown says

By R.L. Bynum Since the offseason hype started about North Carolina football, Mack Brown has been the rare coach who embraces the high expectations. Even as the Tar Heels reached No. 5 in the AP poll for the first time since 1997, there still are skeptics about whether they are that good. You can count …

Tar Heels in NFL: Ebron with five catches, Hurst plays and Trubisky sits

By R.L. Bynum@RL_BynumAfter an unexpected week off for his Pittsburgh Steelers because of COVID-19, Eric Ebron was back at it Sunday with a season-high five catches for the second consecutive game to highlight the efforts of former UNC players in the NFL in Week 5. The Steelers tight end’s five catches came on six targets …

Streaking Tar Heels leap to No. 5 in AP poll

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum Some wondered when North Carolina entered the top 10 in the Associated Press poll last week if the Tar Heels’ rank was a little high. After an impressive victory over Virginia Tech, there are fewer skeptics and more poll voters are taking notice. UNC jumped three spots and is No. 5 in …

Long passes, Newsome ignite UNC’s offense and Carter, Williams run by Virginia Tech

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum Two elements that were missing in No. 8 North Carolina’s first two victories were big elements of the Tar Heels’ most impressive offensive game of the season. One was Dazz Newsome, an impact receiver, who didn’t make that much of a difference through two games and the other was the lack of …

Tar Heels rise to No. 8 in AP football poll

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum North Carolina’s 26-22 victory over Boston College may not have been overly impressive, but it was enough to move the Tar Heels up four spots to No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday afternoon. It’s the first time in the top 10 since UNC (2-0), which was …

Howell gives UNC a different dimension on offense with his running threat, which he shows off in win at BC

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum The feet on one Tar Heel are making a more significant impact on games than last season. They would be the feet of Sam Howell, North Carolina’s sophomore quarterback, who couldn’t take his chances on running that much last season because of the Tar Heels’ depleted quarterback depth. A stronger Howell is …

Idle Tar Heels fall one spot in the AP poll to No. 12, thanks to big wins by Miami and UCF, return of Big Ten teams

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum North Carolina’s season has been on a two-week holding pattern and it appears to have cost the Tar Heels in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Carolina fell one spot, checking in at No. 12 in the new poll released Sunday afternoon. Expect UNC to keep dropping even with wins in the …

UNC up to No. 11 in AP poll, its highest ranking since rising to No. 8 in 2015

By R.L. Bynum@rl_bynum Even though North Carolina’s game with Charlotte got canceled, the 1-0 Tar Heels still moved up in the latest Associated Press Top 25 football poll, thanks to Oklahoma State’s struggles. The Tar Heels went from No. 12 to No. 11, which is the program’s highest rank since it was No. 8 heading …

Williams kick-starts Heels as they blow past Syracuse in final quarter

By R.L. Bynum@RL_Bynum For three quarters, the shaky play of North Carolina’s offensive line couldn’t block out doubts about the high expectations for this Tar Heels team. The line couldn’t contain blitzes, and quarterback Sam Howell many times had trouble recognizing them. But the Tar Heels finally wore down that Syracuse defense with the relentless …