Weekend Wrap: September 10
The weekend in Tar Heel athletics:
Football: As usual, the sequel wasn’t as good as the original (Did you see where Grantland readers recently determined Empire Strikes Back as the best sequel of all time? Hard to argue, assuming Weekend at Bernie’s 2 is out of the discussion). Carolina fell 28-27 at Wake Forest, and as Turner wrote on GoHeels, now Larry Fedora can see how his team will respond to that adversity they’ve talked a good deal about. I also posted my three quick takes right after the game. And then Turner followed up on Sunday with his Sunday Storylines, including some incredible numbers on the Tar Heels in close games lately. If it feels like you’ve seen Saturday’s outcome before, it’s because you have. The Tar Heels head to Louisviille this weekend. The game time for next Saturday's home game against ECU should be announced today.
NERD ALERT! Mentioning The Empire Strikes Back requires me to link this:
Field hockey: The Tar Heels picked up a pair of wins, and did it by a combined 16-0 over Delaware and Villanova. Yep, top-ranked Carolina is a national title contender again.
Men’s soccer: Carolina earned a 2-0 win in the ACC opener against Virginia Tech. I enjoyed the game story on GoHeels, which informed us the Hokies got just one shot in the second half, “a speculative attempt from distance.” That might be the nicest way I’ve ever read of saying a shot had absolutely no chance.
Women’s soccer: Stop me if you’ve heard this before—Anson Dorrance’s club won two games, both by shutout. The Tar Heels beat Marquette 4-0 and San Diego 5-0.
Volleyball: The more noteworthy event might not be that Carolina picked up three wins, beating LSU, MTSU and Western Michigan. It’s that Western Michigan actually won a set. On a weekend that UNC Olympic teams went a combined 8-0, the moral victory by the Broncos (if you already knew they were the Broncos, you’d enjoy this Sporcle quiz on team nicknames, but be forewarned that they can be addictive) was the only set/goal scored against any Tar Heel Olympic sports team this weekend.
As you might have possibly heard, the NFL season began in earnest on Sunday. Congratulations to Shaun Draughn, who scored his first career touchdown, a four-yard plunge late in Kansas City’s loss to the Falcons. Unfortunately, Draughn was also involved in a sideline altercation in the fourth quarter and could be facing some discipline.
Other Tar Heels in the NFL on Sunday:
Robert Quinn had three tackles and a sack for the Rams.
Connor Barth hit three field goals and an extra point for the Bucs. Including Casey, the Barth family went a combined 9-for-9 on extra points and field goals this weekend, and Casey broke Connor's record for career field goals at Carolina, prompting this very cool tweet from Connor.
Zach Brown had three tackles, one of them for loss, for the Titans.
The aforementioned Draughn carried six times for 29 yards for the Chiefs and also caught two passes for 12 yards.
Julius Peppers had three tackles for the Bears.
Da’Norris Searcy recorded two tackles for the Bills.
Vonnie Holliday had a tackle for the Cardinals. Be honest: did you know he was still in the NFL?
Quinton Coples had one tackle in his debut for the New York Tebows.
Greg Little was targeted four times by the Browns but didn’t make a catch, but he did have a pair of special teams tackles.
Do you play fantasy football? I’m pretty sure I’m the only American male in the world who doesn’t. Funny story: Tyler Hansbrough plays in a survivor pool with some former Tar Heel teammates and friends. Hansbrough, despite paying very little attention to anything that doesn’t involve the weight room or the basketball court, won the pool last year, which was the source of much acrimony from those same friends. This year? He was eliminated on Sunday, on the very first day possible. The good news is he still gets to keep his 2009 national championship ring.
A good on-field weekend for Carolina women’s soccer got even better when three Tar Heels helped the United States beat Germany 1-0 in the U20 World Cup title match. Carolina junior Kealia Ohai scored the lone goal and Tar Heel freshman Bryane Heaberlin pitched a shutout in goal. And even better, all those players are headed back to Chapel Hill and will now rejoin the team.
Best story I read this weekend: If I had to pick, it was Gwen Knapp’s story on A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who you might know better as The Pitcher Who Got Hit In The Head With The Line Drive. Turns out he’s a lot more than that. But honestly, I didn’t read a ton this weekend. Sunday was one of those days that makes you wonder why anyone would live anywhere other than Chapel Hill: temperatures in the upper 70s or low 80s and just the right amount of clouds. A three-hour baseball practice with my son and watching my daughter on the porch demonstrate the dance she’ll be doing in Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker makes for a pretty darn perfect Sunday.
But you know what wouldn't be a perfect Sunday? Being chased by a bison. Here is a special THM.com Parenting Pro Tip: don't let your kids try to go touch a bison. Or else this could happen:
I especially enjoy the part at the end where the dad (I guess), after standing at a safe distance and watching his kid sprint away from an angry bison, is laughing about the whole thing. That knocking sound isn't actually in your head, my friend. It's Child Services at the door.
Also Sunday, my wife and I watched the first episode of season 1 of Homeland (until a show comes out on Netflix, it doesn't really exist to us, because we are old). It was great, although it was a little startling to realize it’s been almost 20 years since Claire Danes was in My So-Called Life. As a big 24 fan, I’m feeling good about this show and looking forward to the rest of the season:
1. So, what now for the football team? They travel to Louisville in what feels like an important game. Only problem: the Cardinals are good. Expect the Bernard and Renner health watches to be big stories this week, as they should be for two of Carolina's most irreplaceable players.
2. I’m just going to keep including this until it happens: could THIS be the week the men’s basketball schedule is released? It’s beyond absurd that we’re meandering towards mid-September and we still don’t have one. If you want to cheat and see a few games that have been confirmed by other schools, check page 8 of last week’s Tar Heels Today.
3. Say, have you noticed Lance Thomas (and by extension, Duke) might be in some trouble? Dan Wetzel’s column is the best I’ve read so far on this topic.
Game to watch this week:
Take your pick of a soccer doubleheader: the men host unbeaten Wake Forest on Friday night and the women travel to 7-1 Virginia on Sunday.