News:Analysis:North Carolina gave up just 13 points Thursday at Virginia, just four days after being gashed for 68 by Georgia Tech. The Heels forced two turnovers, returning an interception for a score, and allowed Virginia to convert just 2-of-15 third down attempts. They'll face an injury plagued Maryland team to close out 2012, and should be a fine option.
News: The Tar Heels gave up 68 points to Georgia Tech on Saturday, while allowing 380 yards rushing.
Analysis: This unit allowed Duke to rush for over 200 yards, so the Jackets' triple-option figured to be successful. The 'Heels have a short week before travelling to Charlottesville on Thursday to face a suddenly humming Virginia offense which has scored 74 points in it's last two outings.
News:Analysis:North Carolina gave up a season-high 234 yards rushing Saturday at Duke. They forced just one turnove and surrendered 33 points. For the year, they've surrendering just 19.3 points, good enough for 25th nationally.
News: The Heels have given up just six point in three home contests to date.
Analysis: Granted, they've played East Carolina, Elon and Idaho, this is still an impressive accomplishment. They've given up 67 points in their two road games, but struggling Virginia Tech offense heads to Chapel Hill Saturday. We should know what the real UNC defense is come Sunday morning.
News: North Carolina has fired head coach Butch Davis.
Analysis: No word yet on an interim replacement. It's a shocking development after Davis was paraded around in Pinehurst at the ACC's Media Day just two days ago, let alone the public support he received. Expect plenty more updates.
News: After an NCAA investigation surrounding a post-NFL-draft party and whether his eligibility had been compromised, North Carolina defensive lineman Quinton Coples has been cleared of any wrongdoing and will retain his eligibility to play this year.
Analysis: This is a big win for the Tar Heels as their program has had a few black eyes recently. Coples is a monster pass rusher and should help bolster a defense that lost a lot to the NFL.
News:Analysis: The Tar Heels gave up 419 yards and recorded no turnovers on Saturday against Virginia Tech. They did get three sacks, however. Avoid playing UNC next week against a red-hot North Carolina State squad.
News:Analysis: North Carolina allowed 10 points while totaling two sacks, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one touchdown against Virginia Saturday. They're not a great start against Miami (FL), but Jacory Harris is usually good for at least a couple interceptions.
Quinn and Austin Officially Gone For North Carolina
News:Analysis: Defensive tackle Marvin Austin and defensive end Robert Quinn are done playing for North Carolina, ESPN reports. Austin was always overrated, but Quinn was the team's best player. Downgrade this defense a bit more, but consider them a pretty good option against Virginia, nonetheless.
News:Analysis: North Carolina allowed 17 points against East Carolina Saturday while totaling three interceptions and a touchdown. Clemson poses a tougher test, but it's still not a bad matchup for the Tar Heels.
News:Analysis: North Carolina allowed 13 points against Rutgers Saturday while totaling four sacks and two interceptions. They're a somewhat risky play against East Carolina, but we're guessing the talent differential between the two teams will result in decent production for owners of the North Carolina defense.
News: North Carolina could be without 12 defenders against LSU in Week 1, the Gadsden Times reports.
Analysis: Linemen Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin and defensive backs Kendric Burney, Charles Brown and Da'Norris Searcy are among those definitely out. According to the article cited, it's also possible that safety Deunta Williams and linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter might not be at the game. The Tar Heels will nearly be starting its scout team, so things are looking good for LSU and catastrophic for UNC.
News: Austin has been suspended indefinitely by North Carolina, the school's official site reports.
Analysis: This is not particularly surprising. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if more Tar Heels are down before the season starts. Move down the North Carolina defense a bit in your rankings, because Austin, underachiever he may be, was the team's top defensive tackle.
Former Tar Heel Says DT Austin Received Preferential Treatment
News: Former North Carolina defensive tackle Cam Thomas said a trip he and defensive tackle Marvin Austin took to California was paid for by fellow former Tar Heel defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Analysis: This is very bad news for North Carolina. Austin has been an underachiever so far, but he was likely to have a huge season with the motivation of NFL Draft dollars ahead of him. We'll provide the news as the punishments come forth.
UNC Under NCAA Investigation for Agent Connections
News: The NCAA is investigating the UNC football program for potential rule violations, specifically improper contact with sports agents, the Charlotte News & Observer reports.
Analysis: The report says at least two players are being focused on. ESPN's Joe Schad reports one of those players is defensive tackle Marvin Austin, one of the key players on the defense. As Dez Bryant found out last year and USC recently discovered, the NCAA can be highly unforgiving of failures to follow rules regarding sports agents. Until we know for sure that Austin and/or other important parts of the defense will actually be on the field this year, you might want to draft defenses like Iowa, Alabama, Ohio State and Boise State ahead of the Tarheels.
News: Sturdivant will likely face a very brief suspension due to his Saturday arrest on marijuana charges, ESPN's Joe Schad reports.
Analysis: Schad predicts that the suspension will be in the form of a one-series benching. This isn't surprising. Sturdivant is one of the best players on UNC's extremely talented defense, so it was obvious that the program would punish him as lightly as possible given Week 1's big game against LSU.
UNC Star LB Sturdivant Busted for Marijuana Possession
News: Tarheels linebacker Quan Sturdivant was arrested Saturday morning on a marijuana possession charge, the Charlotte News & Observer reports.
Analysis: It's difficult to tell what may come out of this. The official charge is 'under half an ounce,' a misdemeanor, but the specific quantity in his possession could determine whether he misses any time with suspension. Obviously, Sturdivant's chances would be better if he were caught with a joint than if he were caught with a more sizable quantity. Sturdivant led UNC with 79 tackles last year, including 12 for a loss, so his absence would be significant if he missed any time.
News: The Tar Heels defense forced six turnovers (5 INTs, 1 fumble) and returned two for touchdowns to lead the way in a 31-13 win Saturday at Boston College.
Analysis: UNC also held the Eagles to less than 200 total yards and not a single successful third-down conversion. The Heels finish the regular season with NC State.
News: DB Curtis Campbell (wrist) and S Matt Merletti (knee) are out against Boston College this Saturday, while DB Gene Robinson (back) is questionable, ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: UNC's pass defense has been good this season, allowing just 173.9 ypg, but will need as much depth as possible against BC's improving offense.
News: The Tar Heels returned one of their four interceptions 44 yards for a touchdown to seal UNC's 33-24 win over Miami on Saturday.
Analysis: UNC allowed the 'Canes to get 24 first downs on 435 yards of total offense on Saturday, but were very opportunistic with the turnovers. Next up is Boston College on Saturday.
News: The Tar Heels defense allowed an amazing 125 yards of total offense (113 pass, 12 rush), 11 first downs, and picked off two passes in a 19-6 defeat of Duke on Saturday.
Analysis: UNC has certainly turned a corner defensively, in the last two games, both wins. They will face another huge challenge this Saturday against a Miami offense averaging 387 yards and 30 points per game.
News: DB Jordan Hemby (concussion) is doubtful for Thursday's game with Va. Tech, the NewsObserver reports.
Analysis: Hemby has ten tackles on the season for North Carolina. This should not hurt the Tar Heels to badly, as Hokies passing game has been shaky most of the season.
News: The Tar Heels allowed 438 yards of offense, and could not contain the FSU pass game, which gained nearly 400 yards, in a 30-27 loss on Thursday.
Analysis: UNC had limited offenses to less than 240 ypg until Thursday. On a bright note, the Heels forced one turnover and limited the 'Noles rushing attack to 43 yards. Next up is another Thursday night game with Va. Tech.