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Friday, October 23, 2009

FSU 30, UNC 27: Ponder shreds UNC secondary in second half

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 3:19 AM

KENAN MEMORIAL STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL --  North Carolina pulled out all the stops for the visiting Florida State Seminoles. New uniform combination.  First Thursday night contest in Kenan Stadium.  The best fan atmosphere since the Notre Dame victory in 2008.  Oh, and a bounty of gadget plays  that healed the pathetic offensive performances against UConn, Georgia Tech and Virginia. But it wasn't enough as quarterback Christian Ponder directed a 24-point second half, including three touchdown passes.  The UNC secondary looked as though it took a step back to 2008.  The defense was content to stay in zone coverage and rarely...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halftime UNC 17, FSU 6: Heels offense rejuvenates with gadget plays

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 9:41 PM

KENAN MEMORIAL STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL -- Both UNC and FSU took advantage of the bye week to implement new offensive formations, but through the first 30 minutes, the Tar Heels had more big plays through the air, leading to a 17-6 halftime advantage. The Tar Heels and Seminoles motioned out of sets and ran gadget plays, which made for an entertaining half. UNC fullback Bobby Rome competed a 31-yard pass to Greg Little off a trick play to set up the  first score of the game -- a 5-yard reverse by Little. FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins nailed two field goals,...

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Duke needs to beat Maryland on Saturday to keep momentum going

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Duke hasn't been involved in a "must win" football game in quite some time. Maybe since 1994, the last time the Blue Devils actually played in a bowl game. Perhaps not coincidentally, that was also the last time Duke beat Maryland at Wallace Wade Stadium. David Cutcliffe, in his second year as head coach of a Duke program that hasn't won consistently in a generation, has set winning seasons and bowl games as his stated goal. And after his team's 49-28 victory at N.C. State two weeks ago that wasn't out of context, the chuckles have been getting more...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UNC-FSU preview: Win one for Ramses ... er, Chapel Hill

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 6:45 PM

North Carolina (4-2) vs. Florida State (2-4) [8 p.m., Oct. 22, Kenan Memorial Stadium] Televised by ESPN The Thursday night atmosphere was supposed to be window dressing for a pivotal ACC contest midway through the season. Unfortunately for these two teams, neither has beaten an ACC foe and the loser will face an even tougher road to bowl eligibility. UNC coach Butch Davis pitched for a Thursday night contest in Chapel Hill as part of his plan for advancing the football program. After all the fuss, a loss won't do much to further that mission. Bobby Bowden, meanwhile,...

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Sporting News preseason magazine high on Triangle college hoops

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 4:32 PM

No surprise. Triangle area players are all over the honors lists in The Sporting News' preseason college basketball magazine. On the men's side, Duke's Kyle Singler and UNC's Ed Davis are both second-team All-Americans, and both are also on the preseason All-ACC team. N.C. Central's C.J. Wilkerson is rated as the top newcomer among Division I independents. UNC is picked to win the ACC with Duke second and N.C. State 10th. The Tar Heels are rated No. 4 nationally and the Blue Devils eighth. The Tar Heels' Jessica Breland is on the 10-player first women's All-America team, while Duke's Jasmine...

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Durham Bulls to hold championship celebration tonight at the DBAP

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Apparently just discovering that they won the Triple-A championship a full month after it happened, the Durham Bulls are throwing a party tonight at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, from 6-8 p.m. Highlights: The trophy will be on display, as will the International League Governor's Cup trophy, which the Bulls also won. Bulls utilityman Elliot Johnson and first baseman Chris Richard---the latter is, don't forget, the Bulls' all-time home run leader---will be on hand to sign autographs (both players live in Durham in the off-season). The first 500 fans get early-bird perks, and everyone gets free hot dogs, chips, cookies and...

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‘Canes’ “Wizard” closes in on a thousand games

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 1:52 AM

Before the ‘Canes face off against the New York Islanders on the road tonight, Ray Whitney will suit up for the thousandth time - quite impressive, for a guy who was never supposed to make it to the NHL. Bought out once and waived twice, Mr. Wizard seems to have found the right formula in Carolina. His point production has taken off during his time with the ‘Canes and he has been one of the team's most consistent scorers, as he has escaped the lengthy scoring droughts that plague that other franchise star. Part of that, inevitably, can be...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Duke could get bowl bid with sweep of quartet of unranked foes

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 10:39 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM It's been quite a while since Duke football was getting this kind of respect. And the Blue Devils are rarely consensus favorites to win. But they are this week. Duke (3-3, 1-1) is coming off an open date following a 49-28 victory at N.C. State that was one of the Blue Devils' best performances in a very long time. So when Maryland (2-5, 1-2) visits Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday at 1:30, the Blue Devils will be about six-point favorites. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said before the season started he thought this team should be a...

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UNC Tuesday Tour: Here comes Bobby!

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Florida State travels to Chapel Hill for the first Thursday night football game in Chapel Hill history -- part of coach Butch Davis' plan to raise a giant of a program. The drama surrounding the game ranges from where the heck people are going to park to whether enough students will show up. Oh yeah, and then there is the whole not having an offense issue, which should work out since Florida State has the whole not having a defense thing. Not many students I've spoken to seem keen on staying in town for the game with the freedom...

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Duke's Lewis a Unitas award finalist

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Duke's Thaddeus Lewis is among 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the best senior quarterback in the country. Lewis (pictured) is second in the ACC and 17th in the country with 266.8 passing yards per game, and has completed 62.9 percent of 213 passes with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. His three rushing touchdowns lead the 3-3 Blue Devils. He is averaging 409.0 yards per game against ACC opposition. That included a 40-for-50 performance for 459 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-28 win at N.C. State, earning him conference player of the week...

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

UNC midseason report card: 'But Coach, the teacher grades too tough'

Posted By on Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 1:01 AM

At 4-2 overall and still needing to finish .500 in its last six games to attend some random tire bowl, the North Carolina football team trots home to have coach Butch Davis sign the dotted line. Is it refrigerator worthy or will there be no more Twinkies in their lunch boxes?  The report card for year three of the Davis experiment follows after the jump....

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boston College pounding leaves Wolfpack defense in shambles

Posted By on Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 9:34 PM

TV/ABC11 - Due to the late-running, and excruciatingly slow-developing Texas-Oklahoma contest, today's N.C. State-Boston College matchup wasn't available on local channels until the 3:15 to go mark in the first quarter. Most folks, Wolfpack fans included, probably wish the game stayed that way, as N.C. State went down 52-20 at Chestnut Hill, Mass. Viewers were greated by a 59-yard Dave Shinksie touchdown lob to Colin Larmond Jr., the first images ABC provided after waiting for the Red River Shootout to end. Wolfpack freshman cornerback Rashard Smith was beat on the play. After running step-for-step with Larmond, he misjudged the ball's...

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Turns out the better Central Eagles team is in Durham, and it's not a close call

Posted By on Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 5:42 PM

O'KELLY-RIDDICK STADIUM/DURHAM N.C. Central wasn't expecting a tough challenge when the game was scheduled. It's one of those "guarantee" games that the home team is supposed to win. But when NCCU scheduled Central Methodist of Fayette, Mo., for the first and perhaps the only "Battle of the Central Eagles" nobody knew what kind of team CMU would have. Alan Dykens' club, a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, comes in 5-1, ranked No. 20 in the NAIA national poll and having one of the best seasons in school history. NCCU is 0-6 including three excruciatingly close losses. With...

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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Central Eagles are guaranteed a win Saturday, but will it be NCCU?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

A winning season is no longer a possibility for N.C. Central football, but the Eagles certainly have the opportunity to salvage some positives with a big finish. Three of the last five games are at home for Mose Rison's club, and there's no Goliath monster looming on the schedule as was the case in road games at Liberty and Duke and Appalachian State. Still, that doesn't mean the rest of the slate is a cupcake feast. NCCU (0-6) returns home for the first time in four weeks on Saturday at 1:30 when Central Methodist (5-1) takes the field at O'Kelly-Riddick...

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NCSU Wolfpack, Boston College Eagles each aim to rebound this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Boston College (4-2, 2-2 ACC) vs. N.C. State (3-3, 0-2 ACC) 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Chestnut Hill, Mass. ABC, WRAL-FM 101.5 Key stats … 820. That's how many passing yards the Wolfpack have allowed in the last two weeks to Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner and Duke's man under center, Thaddeus Lewis. You can bet BC's Dave Shinskie is salivating after viewing that tape. After watching his team get carved up for the second time in as many weeks Head Coach Tom O'Brien said something needed to change, lest they face teams trying to pass 50 times a game the...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hurricanes play great third period to tie before bowing to Pittsburgh in shootout

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM

RBC CENTER/RALEIGH Back in the saddle. If you're keeping score this is my first Carolina Hurricanes game for Triangle Offense, pinch-hitting for talented young regular beat writer Kate Shefte who was unable to be at tonight's game. Don't worry, she'll be back soon. Until May I had been the Hurricanes beat writer for the Incredible Shrinking Durham Herald-Sun ever since this building opened in 1999 (and probably still have written about more total wins, losses and ties in this building than anyone else.) Until the day after Game 7 of Carolina's storied upset of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern...

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NCCU opens basketball practice Friday with Jackson tribute

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 3:46 PM

N.C. Central will hold its own version of Midnight Madness - billed as "An Eagle Thriller" - to kick off basketball practice on Friday night at 10:30 at McLendon-McDougald Gym. The promoters are encouraging fans to dress in their best Michael Jackson attire, with two tickets to the N.C. State fair awarded to the winner. The program will also include a dance-off to the late King of Pop's music between the men's and women's teams. The men's team, under new head coach LeVelle Moton (pictured) will open its season on Nov. 11 at UNC with its home opener Nov. 18...

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Long, lonely night of soccer ahead: Patterson-Sewell no longer a RailHawk; US without Davies; will Maradona survive the battle of the Río de la Plata?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 1:26 PM

When we saw the news that RailHawks keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell had signed a one-game contract with the MLS New York Red Bulls, we wondered if it was a loan or if the Australian national is a free agent. It appears to be the latter, according to this RailHawks news release. As for what's next for Patterson, who is no longer under contract with Carolina, he said: "Right now, I'm not too sure. There's a few things in the works. Those things are taking care of themselves." We've no doubt that Patterson-Sewell, who had 10 clean sheets in 15 league...

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Duke Air Show Defeats N.C. State in Raleigh - Story in Photographs

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 11:32 PM

CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH, N.C. - It was a great afternoon with admirable weather for football Saturday when Duke (1-1 in ACC) beat N.C. State (0-2 in ACC) 49-28. For the full recap, you can read Blue Devil Football beat writer Mike Potter's post or Wolfpack Football beat writer Joe Schwartz's post; for the game in photos, they'll be on the next page....

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NCCU desperately needs a victory in the Battle of the Central Eagles

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 5:00 PM

PEARSON CAFETERIA/DURHAM N.C. Central football coach Mose Rison can say it with a straight face for the first time this week. Every remaining game on the Eagles' schedule is winnable. But then again, none of them are likely to be gift-wrapped. The 0-6 Eagles, who have player arguably the toughest schedule in the country among Division I Championship Subdivision teams, will return home on Saturday at 1:30 to host Central Methodist University from Fayette, Mo. It will apparently be the first time in the history of college football that the Central Eagles have played the Central Eagles. When the schedule...

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Monday, October 12, 2009

RailHawks' Caleb Patterson-Sewell signed for single game with Red Bull New York

Posted By on Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Big Apple Soccer says RailHawks keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell has signed with Red Bull New York to suit up for Wednesday's match against Real Salt Lake. According to the same source, he's been training with RBNY since Friday. RBNY made the move citing extreme hardship: One of its keepers, the Senegalese Bouna Coundoul, is on international duty. [UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: Confirmation from the Red Bulls here.]  Patterson-Sewell spent the 2008 season with RBNY. In 2009, he appeared in 15 league games for the RailHawks, notching 10 clean sheets and a .533 goals-against average. Since we're taking time out to post, I...

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blue Devils grab attention with upset; will momentum hold through November?

Posted By on Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 7:28 PM

It's been an awfully long time since Duke won such a big football game. But after the Blue Devils' 49-28 shocker over N.C. State on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium, it took a while for the echoes of the celebration of the few thousand Duke fans on hand to leave the arena. The victory was Duke's first in Raleigh since 1984 - yes, before any current Duke player was even born - and the Blue Devils' first ACC road win since they brought the Victory Bell back from Chapel Hill in 2003. Maybe Duke football hasn't quite arrived yet, but...

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Eagles lead early, but end up losing big in first trip to Appalachian State

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 11:29 PM

At least this part of N.C. Central's football schedule is over. For the third time this season the Eagles (0-6) went into a road game they had a snowball's chance in a blast furnace of winning, and for the third time they left a stadium having earned some respect. In the end Appalachian State (3-2) which has had the nation's best program in Division I's Football Championship Subdivision for the past few years was just too good. Devon Moore rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns while Armanti Edwards rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Mountaineers...

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N.C. State's secondary exposed, team faces defining moment

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 8:55 PM

CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH - Two weeks ago Tom O'Brien warned his squad after a dramatic comeback victory against Pittsburgh that they weren't a good football team, pointing to 12 penalties as a sign of a lack of discipline. Well, they corrected the penalty problem, completing Saturday's contest without a yellow flag thrown in their direction, marking their first penalty-free game since 1989. Just about everything else was a disaster as N.C. State (3-3, 0-2 ACC) lost to their crosstown rivals for the first time in 12 games and the first time in Raleigh since 1984. It's been two games since...

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UNC 42, Georgia Southern 12: Questions linger after second half blunders

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Kenan Memorial Stadium/Chapel Hill -- So much for not forcing turnovers. UNC's famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) linebacker trio combined for three out of the six turnovers -- six being the most turnovers forced since the Duke game in 1999. Those three turnovers churned out 21 points and put the Golden Eagles out of this game before halftime as UNC rolled 42-12. "We try to do that every week but it hasn't been happening, but this week it happened," linebacker Quan Sturdivant said. "So we are going to try to continue to do this every week ......

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