UNC Archive

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UNC’s Walker earns national defensive back of the week

UNC's Walker.

UNC’s Walker.

After notching two interceptions in North Carolina’s 31-27 win over San Diego State, sophomore cornerback Brian Walker (Charlotte, NC) has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week.

Walker’s performance helped lead North Carolina to their first 2-0 start since the 2011 season.

In the opening quarter, Walker returned his first interception of the game 100 yards for a touchdown to give North Carolina an early 7-0 lead. His second interception was in the fourth quarter that set up a field goal to put the Tar Heels up by four.

The Jim Thorpe Award is one of the most coveted awards in college football. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The Jim Thorpe Award watch list is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players. The list is not final, and players who have outstanding seasons are added as the season progresses. The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 11, 2014 on ESPN.

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 699 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.

The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Fifteen of the association’s 21 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the complete 2014 preseason watch list calendar.

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UNC’s Craddock named ACC field hockey player of the week

Charlotte Craddock.

Charlotte Craddock.

North Carolina forward Charlotte Craddock has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Player of the Week after leading the Tar Heels to two road victories over ranked opponents.

A senior from Wolverhampton, England, Craddock scored the game-winner in both North Carolina victories over the weekend. At No. 1 Maryland on Friday, her penalty corner goal in the fifth minute of play put the Tar Heels up for good en route to a 3-1 win.

On Sunday at Delaware, she scored the Tar Heels’ first goal in the 15th minute on a solo shot from about 10 yards out. She also scored in the 42nd minute to put UNC up 3-0 en route to a 5-1 victory.

Craddock leads the Tar Heels (4-0) in goals this season with four.

- ACC News Release

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Heels’ Elby named ACC soccer player of the week

Brooke Elby.

Brooke Elby.

North Carolina senior midfielder Brooke Elby has been named the ACC Women’s Soccer Player of the week, as announced Tuesday by the league office. It is the first player of the week honor of her career.

Elby was named the defensive Most Valuable Player of the Duke Nike Classic as the Tar Heels defeated a pair of Top 20 foes, No. 7 Penn State and No. 18 Arkansas. Elby played all 102 minutes of the 1-0 double overtime shutout against the previously unbeaten Nittany Lions, who entered the match scoring nearly three goals per game. Two days later, Elby played all but four minutes against the Razorbacks, while helping to hold them to just four shots en route to the 2-1 victory. The Arcadia, California native also assisted Summer Green’s goal in the 17th minute that gave the Tar Heels an early 1-0 lead.

North Carolina, which is ranked No. 9 in the latest Soccer America Top 25 released Tuesday, is one of six ACC teams ranked in the poll and one of four in the Top 10 (No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Virginia Tech, No. 6 Florida State, No. 9 North Carolina, No. 13 Notre Dame and No. 19 Clemson).

- ACC News Release

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UNC’s McAdoo named volleyball player of the week

Laureen McAdoo.

Lauren McAdoo.

North Carolina senior outside hitter Lauren Adkins McAdoo and Florida State freshman outside hitter Milica Kubura have earned this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball honors, as McAdoo was named Player of the Week and Kubura was tabbed Freshman of the Week.

McAdoo, wife of former UNC basketball player James Michael McAdoo, led the Tar Heels to a 2-0 record over the course of the weekend, winning the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the second straight year. North Carolina benefited from McAdoo’s all-around play and consistent excellence at the net in victories over Michigan and No. 14 Michigan State. An offensive force, McAdoo averaged 4.67 kills per set on a .328 hitting percentage and doubled her career average of kills.

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Monday morning quarterback: Heels, Pack, Redskins, Panthers

mondaymorningqbSo what did the Tar Heels, Wolfpack, Redskins and Panthers do right and wrong this past weekend?

For the second week in a row, North Carolina escaped against an inferior opponent at home. It took three rare plays to beat San Diego State 31-27. A Brian Walker interception at the goal line and subsequent 100-yard return for a touchdown and a Marquise Williams to Mack Hollins 91-yard pass play for a TD the two scores that saved them, along with an interception in the end zone with 14 seconds left.

The interception return was just the third 100-yard interception return in school history while the 91-yard pass play was the longest by the Tar Heels in Kenan Stadium history and the third longest for the Heels anywhere. That’s what it took to defeat San Diego. Exciting, yes but impressive, no.

The big plays saved Coach Larry Fedora a grilling about throwing a pass inside the five yard line on third down and few inches for a first down. The pass completion lost a yard or two and the Heels had to settle for a field goal.

NC State, for the second week in a row, were not impressive against an inferior opponent at home despite scoring 46 points. The Pack gave up 34 points and 504 yards to Old Dominion.

The defense did not really pressure Old Dominion in the backfield or even at the line, and the tackling was atrocious. On a positive note, the running game looks good as Pack runners rushed for 242 yards and scored five TDs (four of them on the ground). Shadrach Thornton got three of those scores while Matt Dayes had a rushing TD and a receiving TD.

The improvement wasn’t lost on Coach Dave Doeren. “Our run game is averaging six yards per carry, no turnovers and one penalty throughout the game,” he said. “On offense, we averaged 6.6 yards on first down on offense. We were 3-for-3 in short yardage.”

Oh, Washington Redskins, here we go again. Untimely turnovers, poor special teams and a supposedly mobile quarterback who keeps getting sacked before getting rid of the ball.

As for the turnovers, all are untimely, but two unforced fumbles inside the 10-yard line are hard to overcome. That’s a minimum of six points and a maximum of 14 points off the board in a 17-6 loss.

The six points makes one who didn’t watch the game assume the Skins could only muster two field goals. But, no, it was due to a blocked extra point. At a time when the league is considering getting rid of extra points because they are supposedly automatic, the JJ Watt middle-of-the-line block changed the momentum of the game.

Up 6-0, the Redskins fell apart with a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown while Robert Griffin III couldn’t or wouldn’t throw the ball down field. He even held onto the ball so long that he was sacked three times. The guy who is supposed to be so mobile looked anything but. In fact, he intentionally grounded the ball once and rarely looked to throw more than a few yards down the field. When he did throw long, it looked like Hail Mary plays rather than passes that had a good chance of completion.

By the way, did you notice how the in-studio Fox Sports team did everything they could to use the word Washington instead of Redskins. Host Curt Menefee even tossed it to previews of two games by saying “the Bills at the Bears” and “Washington at the Texans.” Not Washington at Houston. He gave three team names and one city name within a minute’s time.

The Carolina Panthers actually looked pretty good in a season opener for a change (they haven’t won one in five years) and they did it with a second-string quarterback. Derek Anderson, though, is a veteran and he threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Panthers over Tampa Bay 17-14.

The Panthers did wilt a bit down the stretch and let the Bucs back in the game but it had been a dominating performance for most of the game.

Cam Newton, out with a rib injury, is said to be ready to play next weekend. To get an opening win without Newton in a game in which they were the underdogs, the Panthers did quite well.

Before the game, many thought the offensive line would be a weakness. But coaches trotted out several linemen throughout the game, keeping players fresh, and it worked. You’d think it would disrupt continuity but the line was juggled so much in the preseason, for a number of reasons, maybe they’re used to it.

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UNC Coach Fedora weekly news conference transcript

Larry Fedora.

Larry Fedora.

“We had a chance to really evaluate the film and break every aspect of it down and find our mistakes and find the things that we did well. We did a good job of evaluating a lot of kids because we played 67 kids in that game on Saturday. We made all of our corrections yesterday at practice and put the game to bed and started moving to San Diego State in the second half of practice. That’s what we’re doing today; game planning,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said Tuesday during his weekly news conference.

On QBs Marquise Willi” ams and Mitch Trubisky
When you really broke them both do wn, they played very similar. If you take away the three picks that we had, probably two of which should have been touchdowns. We don’t want them to happen obviously but if you take them away both Mitch and Marquise did a really good job with their decision making throughout the game with the things that we ask them to do as far as where to go with the ball. Also whether to hand the ball off or to throw it with the different schemes that we use. I thought that they managed the game pretty well, they really did. Marquise will be our starting quarterback. We will use Mitch as we need to throughout a game.

On WR Ryan Switzer
I think he did a good job. He’s trying really hard and sometimes you try too hard when you don’t have to; you just have to be yourself and do what you do. When I look at the punt return stuff I thought we were average, and I’m evaluating all 11 guys and the job that we have to do to make sure that he has good returns. His first one he went for 17 and he had one down the sideline that was a great return and then he had another one that he called everyone off their blocks and he picked up the ball and took off with a chance to score and I think the punter made the tackle there. We have to do a better job with the other 10 guys in that situation when he called them off, they have to react better than that instead of just standing and watching. So we will get better at that.

On San Diego State
San Diego State is going to be a better football team than Liberty in my opinion. They’re very similar to some of the things that we did last year. They started off last year very slow and then they finished really strong. Coming into this season they have a lot of confidence, feeling really good about where they’re at as a team. (Head coach) Rocky Long is going to do a great job, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It will be chaos on that side of the ball if it’s anything like its been in the past. He’s moving guys around, a lot of exotic blitzes and different coverages. It will be a test for us in that way. I know Bob Toledo is their offensive coordinator and Bob is a west coast guy. He’s coached a lot of football for a lot of years and he will do a tremendous job with the offense.

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No. 1 UCLA tops No. 6 UNC soccer

UCLA's Leo Stolz.

UCLA’s Leo Stolz.

No. 6 North Carolina came up short in a 1-0 setback to top-ranked UCLA Sunday night in the final game of the Carolina Nike Classic from Fetzer Field.

The first half was played fairly even between the two clubs. Each team had five shots and both keepers made two saves in the opening 45 minutes.

The difference was UCLA’s All-America midfielder Leo Stolz found the back of the net in the 31st minute to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at intermission.

A long ball played to the top of the 18-yard box brought UNC keeper Brendan Moore well of his line. The ricocheted ball found the foot of Stolz and with the goal area fully exposed, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year slotted a shot off the left post and into the net.

That proved to be the game winner as Carolina was unable to shake a very compact and composed Bruin back line.

Carolina held a 10-7 shot advantage with midfielder Omar Holness owning half of the Tar Heel attempts.

Moore made three saves on the night, while UCLA keeper Earl Edwards made a pair of stops.

Carolina will play next Friday at Old Dominion and Sunday at Virginia Commonwealth. Both matches kick at 7 p.m.

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UNC uses third-quarter onslaught to whip Liberty 56-29

Jeff Schoettmer.

Jeff Schoettmer.

North Carolina broke open a close home opener with four third-quarter touchdowns to defeat Liberty 56-29 Saturday night.

The heavily favored Tar Heels led just 21-15 at the half and after a fumble return by Liberty, the Heels trailed 22-21 in the third period.

But Carolina struck quickly and often during a stretch where Liberty turned the ball over three times in five plays. Within about four minutes, the Heels scored four times to take a commanding 49-22 lead.

“The defense started creating all those turnovers,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said. “We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on that… I think we created more turnovers tonight than we did all of last year. I’m proud of that.”

UNC safety Dominiquie Green recovered three fumbles while linebacker Jeff Schoettmer intercepted a pass and ran it in for a score during that third-quarter onslaught.

“I read the quarterback’s eyes and he threw it right to me,” Schoettmer said. “We had just scored on offense and we wanted to get the ball back.”

Starting QB Marquis Williams found Mack Hollins who ran it in from 33 yards out to give Carolina a 28-22 lead before Schoettmer’s interception.

Seven different Tar Heels scored with Williams running in for two scores. Backup QB Mitch Trubiskey played significant time as well and tossed his first collegiate touchdown to tight end Jack Tabb.

The No. 23 Tar Heels played eight true freshmen and four redshirt freshmen on offense and defense during the game. The inexperience showed as Carolina turned the ball over four times and made several unnecessary penalties (18 for 120 yards). Plus, the Tar Heels, while taking advantage of six Liberty turnovers, turned the ball over four times themselves.

“We had too many interceptions (three) and wasted opportunities,” said Fedora, who added however that he was impressed that his team came out in the third quarter with a lot of energy.

The Tar Heels finished with 443 yards on offense and converted all six times they got in the red zone.

Final Stats

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UNC opens soccer season with 3-1 win over No. 7 Cal

Goals from senior forwards Tyler Engel, Andy Craven and Rob Lovejoy gave No. 6 North Carolina a 3-1 victory over No. 7 California in the 2014 season opener for both clubs Friday night from Fetzer Field.

Carolina (1-0) controlled play at the onset of the game and that ultimately paid dividends when Engel finished from 15 yards in the 19th minute off a feed from Craven.

Minutes later Cal was on the cusp of an equalizer but senior All-America defender Boyd Okwuonu cleared away a ball on the goal line that was going to tie the match in the 21st minute.

Tar Heel defender Jonathan Campbell nearly made it 2-0 with a header off a corner kick, but the Bears defense stood tall to keep the ball from crossing the line.

Just three minutes later, Craven beats the Cal keeper for that two-goal advantage in the 33rd minute. Lovejoy earned the assist as he placed a nice through ball to the foot of Craven.

Cal (0-1) cut its defect in half with a goal from reserve Christian Thierjung in the 36th minute. That was the final tally of the opening half with Carolina taking a 2-1 lead into intermission.

UNC All-ACC keeper Brendan Moore made three brilliant saves in the first 18 minutes of the second half to keep his club on top. He pushed aside a header in the 46th minute, stopped a point-blank shot from Connor Hallisey in the 53th minute and later did the same to Stefano Bonomo in the 63rd minute.

The Tar Heels regained its composure over the final 20 minutes. Lovejoy iced the match with a blue-collar goal in the 83th minute to cap the scoring, 3-1, in favor of Carolina.

Moore was forced to come up with eight saves on the evening, while Cal’s Kevin Peach had four saves over 90 minutes.

Carolina held a 17-13 shot advantage over the Golden Bears, while Cal had seven corners to the Tar Heels five.

UNC hosts No. 1 UCLA on Sunday at 7 p.m. The Bruins earned a 3-1 victory over Wake Forest this evening.

Box score
- News release

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UNC, Duke expected to challenge FSU in ACC volleyball

accvolleyballFlorida State, which has won two of the last three and three of the last five Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball league titles, was tabbed as the preseason favorite in a vote by the league’s 15 head coaches.

The Seminoles accumulated a total of 187 out of a possible 196 points. First-place votes were awarded 14 points, second place received 13 points, etc. Coaches were not allowed to include their own team in their predicted order of finish.

Florida State narrowly surpassed second place Duke (181 points) and third place North Carolina (180), while Miami (151) and Louisville (123) rounded out the top five. Virginia’s 113 points placed it ahead of NC State (106), Syracuse (105), Pittsburgh (103) and Virginia Tech (93). Notre Dame (85), Clemson (53), Georgia Tech (40), Wake Forest (39) and Boston College (16) completed the poll.

A total of 11 teams are represented on the 2014 Preseason All-ACC Team. Duke and Florida State lead all conference schools with three selections apiece, followed by Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia with two selections each. NC State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech all have one selection.

Twelve of the 19 selections were voted to the 2013 All-ACC Team. The squad features AVCA Third Team All-American and 2013 ACC Player of the Year Sklar, along with six others that were named Honorable Mention All-America by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Florida State returns four starters from last year’s team that earned a 26-7 overall record and a 17-3 mark in league play. The Seminoles were defeated by national runner-up Wisconsin in the third round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.

The 2014 season gets underway on Friday, August 29, with 14 of the conference’s teams in action. The 2014 ACC volleyball champion will be determined by the final regular season standings, with that team receiving an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.

2014 ACC Volleyball Predicted Order of Finish

No. Team (First Place) Points 2013 Record (Conference)

1 Florida State (7) 187 26-7 (17-3)

2 Duke (4) 181 28-5 (18-2)

3 North Carolina (4) 180 27-5 (16-4)

4 Miami 151 19-12 (12-8)

5 Louisville 123 23-8 (18-0)

6 Virginia 113 18-14 (11-9)

7 NC State 106 20-12 (11-9)

8 Syracuse 105 16-16 (11-9)

9 Pittsburgh 103 19-14 (11-9)

10 Virginia Tech 93 22-12 (10-10)

11 Notre Dame 85 13-18 (7-13)

12 Clemson 53 15-16 (9-11)

13 Georgia Tech 40 12-20 (6-14)

14 Wake Forest 39 16-16 (5-15)

15 Boston College 16 9-23 (1-19)

2014 Preseason All-ACC Team

Name Class Position School

Emily Sklar Junior Outside Hitter Duke

Jeme Obeime Senior Outside Hitter Duke

Maggie Deichmeister Senior Setter Duke

Nicole Walch Junior Outside Hitter Florida State

Katie Mosher Senior Libero Florida State

Sarah Burrington Sophomore Middle Blocker Florida State

Katie George Junior Setter Louisville

Janelle Jenkins Sophomore Outside Hitter Louisville

Savanah Leaf Senior Outside Hitter Miami

Emani Sims Senior Middle Blocker Miami

Paige Neuenfeldt Junior Middle Blocker North Carolina

Chaniel Nelson Senior Opposite Hitter North Carolina

Jeni Houser Senior Middle Blocker Notre Dame

Dariyan Hopper Senior Outside Hitter NC State

Jessica Wynn Senior Outside Hitter Pittsburgh

Silvi Uattara Junior Outside Hitter Syracuse

Lauren Fuller Junior Setter Virginia

Jasmine Burton Sophomore Outside Hitter Virginia

Kathryn Caine Senior Middle Blocker Virginia Tech