Home Page banner.cb3cartoon.
Click here for more basketball.
Click here to go to the football page.
Click here to keep up with the 2008 run to the World Series.

Off the cuff: Carolina has started the season at 4-1 and that's the best start to a season since 1997 when the Heels also started 4-1. In addition, the Tar Heels have cracked the Associated Press Top 25 after the win over Connecticut as they come in at No. 22. The Heels did not make the USAToday Coaches Poll however.

This was not really an upset even though Connecticut was ranked and the Heels weren't. Carolina was actually a touchdown favorite but the margin of victory certainly was a surprise. The Heels had short fields because of the blocked punts and interceptions. But they still had to make the plays to get that many points.

Greg Little, who entered the year as the No. 1 runner and among the highest hopes for the Tar Heels, evidently is either in the doghouse or simply was beaten out in practice by Shaun Draughn. Little carried the ball only three times for six yards, and he dropped a relatively easy swing pass.

Don't you get tired of the long commercial breaks. ESPN2 went to a commercial with just 25 seconds left in the first quarter, only to take another long break at the end of the quarter. If you had a mind to, and don't mind missing one play, you could take a short walk, make a sandwich and eat it, or flip over to a near nude scene on ABC Family (what a misnomer that network is).

Casey Barth was back kicking field goals and extra points but he missed a short field goal in the fourth quarter and opened the door for Jay Wooten, who kicks off, to get a chance again.

Butch Davis has certainly brought back the glory days that Carolina enjoyed under Mack Brown. While Brown sometimes seemed rather surface and phony sounding, there is at least one thing about him that I prefer over Davis. Brown was college all the way whereas Davis seems very pro-centric. Everything seems to relate to pro players or pro teams. ESPN2 even reported that Davis thinks part of the resurgent interest in Carolina football can be traced to the Carolina Panthers. Huh?

Coach, first of all, there's only one Carolina. Second, the Panthers are in Charlotte and third, we were fervent fans of the NFL's Redskins for years before the Panthers moved into Charlotte. By the way coach, many people in the Tar Heel state can get to DC quicker than they can get to Charlotte. DirecTV even reports that Raleigh-Durham is the strongest out-of-market fan base for the Redskins. Just as Tar Heel fans won't change their allegiance, neither will most Redskins fans. Coach, let's both leave all the references to the NFL behind and focus on college football.

If you'd like to sponsor this award-winning site, or agree or disagree with something written, please let me know by emailing me.

Heels 38, Huskies 12
Carolina turns the lights out on No. 24 UConn

North Carolina blocked punts, intercepted passes and got more than 100 yards from a tailback for the first time this season as the Tar Heels put away 24th ranked and previously unbeaten Connecticut 38-12. (10/4)

The game was delayed because two banks of lights went out early in the second half and that coincided with the time that Carolina turned the lights out on the Huskies.

After the delay, with the Heels up 17-6, UNC's Shaun Draughn, who finished with 109 yards on 19 carries, broke up the middle untouched on a misdirection trap play and sprinted 39 yards for a touchdown and the 24-6 lead with 6:04 left in the third quarter.

Less than two minutes later, Connecticut quarterback Zach Frazier, under a heavy UNC rush, tried to throw the ball away but burly lineman Marvin Austin intercepted it and rambled into the end zone to give the Heels a 31-6 lead with 4:09 left in the third quarter.

That effectively wrapped up the win but the Heels scored on a 13-yard pass play from Cam Sexton to Hakeem Nicks on the first play of the fourth quarter to up the score to 38-6.

Connecticut, which moved the ball well offensively throughout the game, finally got in the end zone in the final period on a one-yard TD run by All-America candidate Donald Brown, who ran for more than 160 yards on the night and already has more than 1,000 yards on the season.

Carolina stopped Huskie drives with three interceptions during the game and Connecticut stopped themselves with 11 penalties for 97 yards.

With the score tied 3-3 in the first quarter, UNC's Mark Paschall intercepted a pass and gave the Heels the ball deep in Connecticut territory. Ryan Houston busted off the right side for a one-yard TD run to put Carolina up 10-3.

Then, in the second quarter, UNC's Bruce Carter blocked a punt and Matt Merletti recovered it in the end zone to put the Heels up 17-3 at the half. It was one of three blocked punts by Carter.

Connecticut outgained the Heels on the ground and through the air, and had a strong advantage in time of possession but big plays, offensively and defensively, put the Tar Heels in position to make the Top 25 polls.

Carolina moves to 4-1 while Connecticut drops to 5-1. The Heels host Notre Dame Oct. 11 in a highly anticipated matchup.


Season Preview: Carolina almost surely will improve
Look for Heels to have a winning record in Davis' 2nd year


© 2008 CB3media Cary, NC

Heel Prints reviewed each UNC game
As a student sports editor years ago, prior to the season, Clifton Barnes predicted a national championship for the Tar Heels and indeed they won. In fact he wrote his lede paragraph for the national championship game almost a year early. He regrets that he didn't keep a journal after each game. While he didn't predict a championship this season, he did have those same feelings. He kept a journal after each game of the 2007-2008 season and you can reach them here. He recently completed writing about UNC's baseball season and will write an analysis after each UNC football game.