Weekend Wrap: October 22
The less said about this, the better. Turner was there on the sidelines as Duke players rushed over to claim the Victory Bell, and it was as painful as you might imagine. In my opinion, the way the loss changed the season is that the success of this year now depends solely on one fundamental measure: beating State. That game, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., is now this year's bowl.
By the way, it will be interesting to see if there are any ACC repercussions for a pair of plays in the Duke game. First, there's this collision between Shakeel Rashad and Conner Vernon:
Which way you interpret that one probably depends on which shade of blue you prefer. Vernon walked off the field on his own and played the rest of the game. Two plays later, there was this:
I'm not sure that one needs any interpretation. Tim Jackson had to be helped off the field and did not play the rest of the game. That's an incredibly dangerous play.
Gio Bernard has now played enough games to qualify, and he leads the ACC in rushing and all-purpose yards, and ranks fifth in the country in rushing and fourth in all-purpose yards. Assuming he stays healthy, is there really any other choice for ACC Player of the Year?
Volleyball: Picked up a pair of wins, beating Maryland and Boston College in Chapel Hill.
Field hockey: Huge win for the Tar Heels, going on the road and beating Maryland 4-3 in overtime. The victory clinched the ACC regular season title for Carolina.
Men's soccer: Not as good a result in College Park for the soccer team, as they lost 1-0 in overtime on a very soggy field. You'd expect to see these two teams hook up again at least once--and maybe twice--this year.
Women's soccer: Beat Duke on Thursday night, but lost 2-1 at home on senior day to Wake Forest on Sunday. Carolina is in fifth (!) place in the ACC with one game remaining.
Tar Heels in the NFL
Bruuuuuuce Carter had five tackles and Gerald Sensabaugh had three tackles as the Cowboys won in Charlotte.
Greg Little had six catches for 52 yards, and one of them was this circus touchdown catch.
Hakeem Nicks had five catches for 53 yards for the Giants.
Robert Quinn had a sack for the Rams.
Brandon Tate caught a pass for three yards and had three kickoff returns for 109 yards, including a long of 45, for the Bengals on Sunday night football against the Steelers.
Vonnie Holliday had a tackle for the Cardinals.
Tar Heels in the NBA
Interesting situation for Kendall Marshall in Phoenix, as it first looked like he was walking into a great situation with the departure of Steve Nash. Now? It doesn't look quite as great. Goran Dragic is the starter, Sebastian Telfair is the backup, and Marshall didn't play a single minute in a recent exhibition game. It's not time to panic, as he's still learning the offense, but he's still in a battle. That story probably needs to be printed out and shared with every player who thinks they'll immediately translate college success to the same results in the NBA. John Henson, meanwhile, has been shelved for two weeks while he rests a knee injury. Harrison Barnes is still in a fight for a starting spot in Golden State.
Best story I read this weekend
This New York Times profile of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. Just by itself, Kansas State is not very interesting. But Snyder went to a totally abysmal program and made it relevant. Then he left, and they returned to obscurity. Then he came back, and now they're in the nation's top five. How does that happen? It's an interesting look at not just what Snyder has done with the program, but what he's learned about how to balance his work and his family life--and how those two have been combined.
Three Tar Heel storylines to watch this week
1. State. State. State.
2. The only men's basketball exhibition of the season is Friday night at the Smith Center. Sometimes, these exhibitions are nothing more than showing us what we already know. This year, though, we know very little. I'm looking forward to this one. Tickets are available.
3. State. State. State. The last time Carolina went 0-3 against the in-state ACC teams was 1989, Mack Brown's second season. That simply can't happen this year. Not with everything that has happened between Carolina and NC State--not just on the football field but off.