By Hank Kurz Jr.
AP Sports activities Author
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell will get much of the interest this time from defenses getting ready to gradual the No. 10 Tar Heels.
He’s gotten loads from Virginia Tech as the teams prepare for their period opener tonight, but Howell is far from the only Tar Heel what has the Hokies’ focus.
“There’s a lot to kind of unwrap with him and their offense,” Hokies mentor Justin Fuente claimed. “First of all, they can operate the soccer. It is not just a condition the place they’re dropping back again and throwing it all the time.”
Virginia Tech bought to see all that to start with-hand previous period in a 56-45 reduction. Howell threw for three touchdowns, but the Tar Heels also ran for 399 yards.
The fantastic information for the Hokies is that managing backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, and vast receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome have all moved on to the NFL, leaving Howell having to convey together new playmakers.
“I’m just really fired up to see what we’ve acquired,” the quarterback explained. “We actually really don’t know what type of crew we have. And we’ll know pretty shortly on Friday night.”
Mentor Mack Brown said the presence of Howell and significant expectations make it seem to be like the Tar Heels have “had sugar thrown all over us,” but included, “If we’re accomplishing our task, we’re likely to have individuals expectations.”
To support meet up with all those lofty expectations, the Tar Heels introduced former assistant Larry Porter back as a running backs mentor and assistant unique groups coordinator. Brown explained the team is searching for additional out of its particular teams in 2021.
“We’ve never worked greatest-against-ideal this significantly in unique teams and we have never worked this substantially are living in preseason,” Brown mentioned.
“So we have truly designed an exertion to see development. I like our program much better. I like our philosophy superior. We’re all on the identical webpage.”
Some other issues to look at when North Carolina performs at Virginia Tech:
Enthusiasts will be allowed to fill Lane Stadium for the 1st time considering that the 2019 year, a span of 647 times.
The previous time North Carolina performed at Virginia Tech, the match went six overtimes — and Atlantic Coast Meeting document — prior to the Hokies prevailed 43-41. Howell threw for five of his career complete of 68 TD passes in that sport. His up coming touchdown pass will make him the Tar Heels’ profession leader.
Duke vs. Charlotte
By Aaron Beard
AP Sports activities Author
Duke invested an offseason working to rebuild chemistry, self-assurance and cleaner execution. The Blue Devils get their 1st sign tonight as to how significantly progress they’ve built.
Duke travels to Charlotte for an instate street opener, which marks the very first time a energy-meeting crew has frequented the 49ers’ campus stadium. It comes right after a two-earn period that represented a enormous stumble for a Duke program that experienced turn out to be a frequent bowl crew under longtime mentor David Cutcliffe.
“I believe the most significant detail you uncover out: have you completed all the small things as a mentor to be disciplined to get treatment of the ball, to be penalty-absolutely free, all of those minimal things that are a authentic examination in the opener?” Cutcliffe claimed.
The Blue Devils’ last earn arrived on Halloween in a lopsided margin (53-19) versus the 49ers, which marked one of just six video games Will Healy’s squad received to perform because of to cancellations and postponements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That integrated just two dwelling online games for the Conference United states of america method, and none prior to late Oct, in what Healy described as a “terrible experience” for his gamers.
This year appears to be a very little far better. In addition to Duke’s pay a visit to, the 49ers will engage in two electric power-meeting groups in the exact time for the 1st time when they go to Illinois in October.
“These fellas have sacrificed a large amount to be able to have a prospect to perform football game titles,” Healy explained. “This is what makes it enjoyable, for them to be rewarded with a residence soccer sport versus an ACC opponent. And we’re likely to figure out how fantastic we are incredibly quickly.”
Some other things to know about Friday’s Duke-Charlotte video game:
Duke was the Bowl Subdivision’s worst team very last year in guarding the football, racking up 39 turnovers – at least 14 much more than any other workforce. That included a national-significant 15 interceptions from Chase Brice, who has considering that transferred to Appalachian Condition.
The Charlotte get previous 12 months was one of just two online games in which Duke dedicated less than two turnovers.
Duke quarterback Gunnar Holmberg is atop the depth chart to just take more than for Brice in what would be his first vocation begin.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Holmberg has appeared in seven game titles and missed the 2019 time with a preseason knee damage. He concluded 18 of 25 passes for 161 yards with two interceptions very last calendar year and also delivers the capacity to go the chains with his legs.
He was elected as 1 of Duke’s three captains just after Cutcliffe praised his leadership with teammates by way of the summer months.
“You almost could see it coming for all the appropriate explanations,” Cutcliffe said.
On the lookout FOR A First
Charlotte is -6 versus electricity-conference teams in its 9-season background, such as all a few matchups with Atlantic Coastline Conference systems.
Cutcliffe is in his 14th period at Duke to tie Alabama’s Nick Saban for sixth amid the nation’s longest coaching tenures in the electricity conferences.
Outdated Dominion vs. Wake
By Aaron Beard
AP Sports Author
Ricky Rahne has waited a extensive time to make his debut as Outdated Dominion’s coach on the sideline.
His Monarchs go to Wake Forest tonight in what will be each their delayed debut less than the former Penn Point out assistant and their return to the industry just after the faculty canceled tumble sporting activities very last period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our crew has been functioning a lengthy time to perform in this game and very frankly, we’re ready to go,” Rahne explained.
It will mark the Convention United states program’s 1st match due to the fact a 38-22 decline in opposition to Charlotte in on Nov. 30, 2019. Rahne was named head coach 9 times later on just after shelling out the former 6 seasons on the Nittany Lions’ staff, including two as offensive coordinator. He had also coached previously at Vanderbilt.
Friday’s video game will come one day shy of a 12 months when Rahne was initially scheduled to open his tenure with the Monarchs in opposition to the same opponent, with the Atlantic Coastline Conference’s Demon Deacons slated to go to ODU in a neighboring-state matchup.
“We’re looking at old tape and we’re really just finding ready for anything at all,” Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman reported of planning for ODU. We definitely have no concept what they are likely to do. It is tricky and it’s a obstacle, but we put together in the summer time and in camp for every little thing.”
Wake Forest performed just a 9-video game schedule final calendar year amid an prolonged late-year pause because of to COVID-19 protocols, ending with a loss to Wisconsin in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The Demon Deacons are setting up their thrust for a sixth straight bowl recreation.
Some other matters to know about Friday’s ODU-Wake Forest activity:
Previous Dominion went 1-11 in its previous season and has not received a sport in additional than two full yrs, and there is been a whole lot of turnover due to the fact. Previous Dominion has just 11 starters and 26 letterwinners back from the 2019 team this year.
Handful of TURNOVERS
Wake Forest was one particular of the nation’s greatest teams previous year at protecting the football, committing just one particular turnover through the first seven online games. The Demon Deacons stumbled right after rising from their COVID-19 pause with six turnovers in the closing two game titles, including 4 interceptions from Hartman in opposition to the Badgers. “They’re a crew that if they get an benefit in turnover margin,” Rahne stated, “their profitable share is by means of the roof.”
The Demon Deacons have thrived below mentor Dave Clawson as a application that leans on acquiring players rather of securing major-rated recruits. So Clawson is looking at the opener as an prospect to develop depth.
“We’d like to play a large amount of persons,” Clawson explained, introducing: “We’ve got to engage in men and enable them get sport knowledge. And at instances when you do it, you have got to live with some mistakes.”
The Demon Deacons will be again to regular lover attendance just after confined-potential crowds past year.