ACC Kickoff: More than half league has an 85% vaccination rate but not UNC

By R.L. Bynum CHARLOTTE — As the ACC forges ahead toward what everybody hopes will be a normal football season, Commissioner Jim Phillips said Wednesday at the ACC Kickoff that more than half of the league’s football programs have reached an 85% vaccination rate, with other programs close. UNC coach Mack Brown said that the …

Heels return to AP poll at No. 20 but CFP rankings bigger

Orange Bowl possible with win at Miami By R.L. Bynum After a week out of the Top 25 and a blowout senior day victory, North Carolina is back in the AP Top 25 football poll at No. 20. The poll figured to have plenty of changes after six teams in last week’s Top 25 lost, …

Tar Heels in NFL: Ebron, Steelers move to 11-0; Trubisky keeps starting job

By R.L. Bynum Eric Ebron ended a long Week 12 in the NFL with a positive note for former Tar Heels with seven catches for 54 yards as his Pittsburgh Steelers moved to 11-0 with a 19–14 home victory Wednesday against the short-handed Baltimore Ravens. That game marked the NFL debut for defensive tackle Aaron …

Even if UNC beats Irish and somehow they lose another game, percentages could still deny Heels spot in ACC title game

By R.L. Bynum Mack Brown’s North Carolina team has been fortunate to escape without too much disruption during the football season because of COVID-19. But one scenario could throw a major 2020 curveball at the Tar Heels. Beating No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 27 at Kenan Stadium will be quite a challenge for North …

Howell throws UNC back into the coaches poll at No. 24, gets national honors; odds of making ACC title game low

By R.L. Bynum Two weeks after Virginia shoved North Carolina onto the Top 25 football poll exit ramp, Sam Howell impressively navigated a victory and directed the Tar Heels down the on-ramp — at least in the coaches poll. After being left out of the Top 25 for two consecutive weeks following Carolina’s 44–41 loss …

UNC rallies from 21 down to beat Wake Forest behind a record-setting day for Sam Howell

By R.L. Bynum Years from now, North Carolina fans will fondly reflect on the record-shattering career of quarterback Sam Howell while watching him pick apart NFL defenses.  There will be many more opportunities between now and the end of next season. But Saturday’s sterling effort against Wake Forest will be one memory that will stick …

UNC’s defense plays well; Tar Heels, Williams pour on the offense in romp at Duke

By R.L. Bynum DURHAM — North Carolina found the cure for its struggling defense in Durham and with the Tar Heels’ offense as potent as ever, possession of the Victory Bell was never in doubt. Javonte Williams, with 24 points, scored as much as Duke in Carolina’s 56–24 romp over the Blue Devils (2–6, 1–6 …

Mack Brown says that UNC is “about to be really good”

By R.L. Bynum Mack Brown sees the mistakes and the flaws that led to frustrating road losses to Florida State and Virginia. While working to correct all of that, he likes a lot of what he’s seen from his Carolina team. “I’m excited about this thing moving forward,” Brown said Wednesday ahead of the Tar …

UNC falls out of AP Top 25, but still has shot at ACC title game

By R.L. Bynum Just two weeks ago, North Carolina was ranked No. 5 in the country and had visions of making the College Football Playoff and a New Year’s Six bowl game. After a pair of poor defensive efforts on the road and failed comeback attempts, the Tar Heels went from No. 15 to out …

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 …