BATTLE FOR N.C.: Tar Heels to the top
BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Monday, September 9, 2019
Matthew McConaughey ensured during the weekend that all of the college football world was aware that “Texas is back.”
But as Texas was in the final stages of a 45-38 home loss to LSU late Saturday night, it was 68-year-old Mack Brown — the former North Carolina coach during the 1990s who went on to win a national championship with Vince Young at Texas — who watched his new quarterback Sam Howell hit Dazz Newsome for the winning touchdown pass against Miami for a second straight “UNC is back” victory.
Until Brown and the Tar Heels lose, they are No. 1 in the Tar Heel State in college football. Here are updated rankings:
1. North Carolina
Why No. 1? They were not dominating victories, but the Heels beat South Carolina, 24-20, in Charlotte and followed with a 28-25, last-minute win over Miami in Chapel Hill. Through two weeks, there is no denying North Carolina’s resume.
2. N.C. State
Why No. 2? The Wolfpack’s defense has allowed six total points in two games against underdog opponents and freshman running back Zonovan Knight is another example of how Dave Doeren has thrived in in-state recruiting. After blanking Western Carolina, 41-0, State will kick off at noon on Saturday in a big game at West Virginia.
3. Appalachian State
Why No. 3? Lots of points in Boone. App. State held off Charlotte, 56-41, and gets a bye week before one of the most important games in school history. The Mountaineers, who scored on an 87-yard touchdown run by Darrynton Evans on the first play against Charlotte, travel to North Carolina on Sept. 21.
4. Wake Forest
Why No. 4? Wake Forest could put a quick stop to UNC’s momentum on Friday night. The Demon Deacons scored 38 points in Week 1, 41 in Week 2 (beating Rice 41-21) and will look for more scores against the Tar Heels. Wake’s last game versus UNC was in 2015, a 50-14 loss in Chapel Hill.
Why No. 5? East Carolina and Duke each have one easy win against Football Championship Subdivision competition. This fifth spot will become clearer in a week after Duke travels to Middle Tennessee and ECU plays at Navy.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.