A publication of
page 2page 3 page 11 page 7 page 12
Renner, the comfortable captain
By Brooke Pryor
Leading up to North Carolina’sseason opener against South Carolina,one name has been on the lips of every coach, player and analyst associated with the game.Except for Bryn Renner’s.“What’s his name?” Renner asked.“I thought he quit. I thought heretired early.”Renner, of course, was joking. Heknows exactly what’s coming for himThursday night. Jadeveon Clowney will be gunning for him from theother side. Renner will be protected by an offensive line anchored by pre-season first team All-ACC linemanJames Hurst.Renner enters the season with a year of a new playbook under his belt,looking nothing like the inconsistentsignal caller from early last season.
A rocky start
In the beginning of the 2012 sea-son, Renner’s three interceptionsthrough the first three games showedhe wasn't completely comfortablemaking decisions in coach Larry Fedora’s new system. Renner had pre- viously started under Everett Withersin a pro-style offense and threw formore than 3,000 yards in his sopho-more season.But in the first few games of Fedora's inaugural year, Rennerstruggled to replicate the same pro-duction from the year before.Renner admits to often forcing theoffense, rather than trusting the playsto naturally develop.“I was threading the needle whenI didn't have to, which is just my mentality that I had to grow out of,”Renner said. “I was trying to go fora deep ball here and there and really forcing my will on the offense.“But I realized the offense is goingto take care of itself if I do my job.”
Mowing through opponents
Learning a new playbook in thefew weeks of the preseason is no easy feat, and Renner admits that the teamoften felt frenzied in trying to keep up with a frantic no-huddle offense.But as the season went on, Rennercomfortably settled into Fedora’soffense, and it showed. Renner threw 13 touchdowns in the final six gamesof the season.The same playful personality shown at UNC’s pre-South Carolina interviews manifested on the field
Morris and Blue take charge
Soph receiverdriven for more
dth file/chloe stePhenson
Romar Morris is one of two seasoned running backs faced with the task of replacing Giovani Bernard.
By Henry Gargan
When you add a RomarMorris to an A.J. Blue, does thesum equal a Giovani Bernard? With the record-break-ing tailback beginning tomake waves for the NFL’sCincinnati Bengals , NorthCarolina’s offense hopes theefforts of Morris and Blue canprovide a ground attack aspotent as the threat Bernardposed last season.But perhaps that’s not a fair question. After all, Blueand Morris both played cru-cial roles alongside Bernardlast season.Morris is a redshirt sopho-more who spent his fresh-man season returning punts, blocking kicks and picking up yardage in all sorts of ways.Blue is a redshirt senior whorecently turned 24. Injuriesand other adversity have pro-longed his stay at UNC.This season he and histeammates hope his experi-ence will anchor the other- wise youthful backfield.Freshmen runners KhrisFrancis and T.J. Logan arefalling into the support-ing roles Morris and Blueoccupied last season, andthe older backs have takenit upon themselves to makesure the freshman duo will beprepared to step up when thetime comes.It’s been clear since thespring that the task of fillingBernard’s shoes will fall toMorris and Blue.“(Bernard) was a greatplayer, he was a game-break-er, but Blue and Romar have been there, they’ve had plenty of time themselves, and Itrust those guys to get the jobdone,” senior offensive line-man James Hurst said.Blue’s nine rushing touch-downs were second only toBernard’s 12 last season.Morris rushed for two scoreslast season, but after impres-sive performances in thespring game and preseasonpractices, the Salisbury, NCnative has emerged this sea-son as Blue’s equal in compe-tition for Bernard’s job.“I think Romar has beenthe guy that’s really steppedup out there,” coach Larry Fedora said on his weekly radio show last spring.But regardless of who linesup for the opening snap inColumbia, S.C. on Thursday,Hurst said he and the rest of the Tar Heels know it will takethe combined, complementary efforts of Blue and Morris toachieve the desired result —an ACC championship.“Blue is a veteran, he’shard-nosed, he’s really goingto run downhill and get thetough yards that you need—third and short, third andgoal, whatever,” Hurst said.“Romar, he’s kind of yourhome run. You look up andhe’s in the endzone. I think it’sgreat that we’re going to havetwo backs like that workingtogether.”
The duo is tskedwith replcingGiovni Bernrd.Quinshd Dviswnts to build on lstseson’s success.
By Robbie Harms
Quinshad Davis is, accord-ing to his Twitter, just a youngman trying to make it, andthe sophomore receiver could be well on his way.He has the frame — 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, and grow-ing — the talent — 61 catchesfor 776 yards last season, both UNC freshman records— and, perhaps most impor-tantly, the desire.Davis, from Gaffney, S.C.,emerged as one of UNC’stop options last season as a true freshman, and he has noplans to regress.“We should be the onesthat y’all look to see and belike, ‘Oh man, what a catch, what a run,’” he said of this year’s corps of receivers. “Weshould be that group.”It’s not often a kid two years out of high school is thespecter in ACC cornerbacks’dreams, but it’s not often a freshman has a season likeDavis’ last year.He played in all 12 games,starting 10, and had a catchin each one. He tied the ACC record for catches inone game with 16. He was
SCHEDULEJAMES HURSTNON-ACC FOESSTARTERSFRESHMEN
dth file/sPencer herlong
Quinshad Davis (left) cel-ebrates with quarterback BrynRenner (right) in a Thursdaynight win against Virginia.
named an honorable men-tion freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com.“He’s so athletic and hassuch great body control in theair,” coach Larry Fedora said.Davis was a cherishedrecruit, South Carolina’sGatorade Player of the Yearas a senior, and came to UNCcarrying a set of expectationsrare for an 18-year-old. And it took fewer than 10minutes for Davis to show the world he’d arrived. The catchcame late in the first quar-ter of UNC’s season openeragainst Elon. Quarterback
Thursdy, august 29, 2013dilytrheel.com