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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halftime UNC 42, Georgia Southern 7: Linebackers take turns feasting on Eagles

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Kenan Memorial Stadium/Chapel Hill --  UNC's linebackers stole the show in the first half as each starter forced a turnover. The fifth longest fumble return in school history pushed the Heels ahead by 14, and linebacker Zach Brown intercepted Lee Chapple on the ensuing possession to put this game out of reach early for the Golden Eagles. And to make matters worse for Georgia Southern, Bruce Carter picked off one of those pesky bubble screens and returned it 41 yards to make it 35-7. UNC converted four Georgia Southern turnovers into 28 points.  The offense, meanwhile, didn't exactly run...

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Lewis' record day, Wolfpack mistakes give Duke a 49-28 shocker

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 4:49 PM

CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH It's the second meeting of the season between a pair of Triangle Division I football teams, and the first time it's matching two clubs from the ACC. N.C. State and Duke don't play every year any more under the divisional system necessitated by the conference's expansion to 12 teams. The Wolfpack is in the Atlantic Division and Duke in the Coastal, and while NCSU's cross-divisional permanent opponent is UNC, Duke's is Wake Forest. Now they're playing for the second straight season, with the Wolfpack winning last year's meeting 27-17 at Wallace Wade Stadium. That was the Wolfpack's...

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Friday, October 9, 2009

K-Something leads the charge as 'Canes light up Panthers, 7-2

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 11:54 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> So much for not being able to score. Encouraged by their shootout success against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricanes continued to display their one-on-one prowess and scored on Tomas Vokoun off four breakaways. Seven different ‘Canes scored, with three goals each in the first and third periods, bringing the final tally to 7-2. "We were putting a lot of pucks on net but nothing was happening," K-Something said. "But I think tonight will give everyone a little more confidence." The ‘Canes capitalized on a bunch of terrible Florida mistakes;...

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NCCU travels to Appalachian State for a really, really tough test

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 4:18 PM

NCCU's Geovonie Irvine may be one of several players who would need to have a big game for the Eagles to upset Appalachian. (File photo by Rob Rowe) N.C. Central knew this kind of game was coming when the Eagles decided to move to Division I (Football Championship Subdivision). And while it might be a little early, it's here. Mose Rison's Eagles will be massive underdogs on Saturday at 3:30, when they take their 0-5 record to Appalachian State (2-2), which has had the best program in the FCS since the turn of the millennium under veteran mentor Jerry...

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

UNC - Georgia Southern preview: Heels need statement from offense

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 8:53 PM

North Carolina (3-2) vs. Georgia Southern (3-2) [3:30 p.m., Oct. 10, Kenan Memorial Stadium] ESPN360.com "Hello Roy Williams, goodbye Butch Davis."  At least, that's what UNC fans seem to be pondering this week as the Heels play what needs to be a morale booster against Georgia Southern. Although UNC must win for reputation sake, this game carries no postseason importance.  The Heels can only count one win against an FCS team for the six-win bowl requirement. Sleeping on the Eagles will be dangerous, though.  With 14 returning starters and nothing to lose, the pressure will be entirely on...

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Duke visits N.C. State on Saturday; get ready for an aerial assault

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 3:01 PM

It's the second straight renewal of one of those rivalries that has been interrupted by the odd scheduling resulting from ACC expansion. Duke will visit N.C. State on Saturday in one of those games that used to get a lot of blood pumping around the Triangle. But the series has lost some of its luster in recent years as the schools are in different divisions and don't play every year. State won 27-17 in Durham last season. The Wolfpack (3-2, 0-1 ACC) definitely needs to get back into the win column after last week's 30-24 loss at Wake Forest...

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conversation with player agent: US Soccer says contracts valid for now

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 4:25 PM

The United States Soccer Federation has not issued a ruling on the validity of the contracts that the USL tried to nullify last Friday, according to an agent with a stake in the situation. The agent also predicted that if six or seven teams leave the USL-1 under the Teams Owners Association banner, the rest of the USL-1 will follow. This agent, who represents soccer players at all levels in the United States including the USL-1, requested anonymity but otherwise offered a candid and non-alarmist take on the dispute between the United Soccer Leagues and the dissident TOA. On the...

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USL, TOA reps to meet with USSF for a second day

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Quick update on the meeting at the New York office of the United States Soccer Federation that was called by its president, Sunil Gulati: The meeting ended yesterday, inconclusively, and will continue today, RailHawks president Brian Wellman said in a brief phone interview last night. Wellman, who was calling from Raleigh, had no details to divulge, but he said that approximately half of the TOA membership was represented in person, and that others may have teleconferenced it in.  He confirmed that Gulati is personally engaged in the discussions. "He wants to get everyone on the same page," Wellman said. Gulati...

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'Canes down Lightning in shootout, get first win

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 3:59 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> RBC CENTER/RALEIGH—Jussi Jokinen scored in regulation and the ‘Canes got further than they ever should have against the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday night, but Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu sealed a last-minute win in the shootout to give Carolina its first win on the year, 2-1. Tampa, which was blown out by perennial cellar-dweller Atlanta in its first go-around of the season, didn’t play above average – the ‘Canes just weren’t sharp. Horrible passing and untimely penalties were the name of the game, not to mention a startling lack of offense that...

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

USL roundup: Holt letter published; USSF brokers NYC meet-and-greet; Hammerheads no longer in USL-2

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Wow. It's starting to look like we could be seeing a profound moment in the history of American club soccer—even if Jack Bell of The New York Times' Goal blog hasn't noticed anything yet, busy as he is. Fortunately, there's a platoon of bloggers and full-time reporters at work on these stories. I was buried with my normal editorial responsibilities today, but this is what came over the Twitter wire: J. Mike Blake of the Cary News seems to have been first out of the gate with the news that the USSF had stepped in to order a meeting today...

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NCCU has its back against the wall and looks for a miracle in Boone

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:52 PM

PEARSON CAFETERIA/DURHAM—Mose Rison certainly didn't expect his N.C. Central football team to be in this position. When this season began the Eagles, in their third year competing as a member of NCAA Division I (Championship Subdivision) had high hopes for a winning campaign. Yes there seemed to be some near-impossible assignments at the top of the schedule, but with a few good bounced the Eagles seemed to have a chance to be 3-3 going into five very winnable games at the end of the schedule. But it hasn't gone down that way. NCCU (0-5) suffered its most heartbreaking loss...

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Blue Devils' push for winning football season needs to start this week

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:09 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM—So anything other than a mark in the left column when the Blue Devils (2-3, 0-1 ACC) visit N.C. State (3-2, 0-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium is not going to be acceptable to the Blue Devils' second-year head coach. The Devils certainly won't be favored, as they have lost 11 straight in the Triangle rival series which has been so rudely interrupted a couple of times in recent years by the ACC's predetermined schedule. But it's a game they may need to win if they're going to have the seven-win season Duke would...

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Breaking... More USL upheaval as Wilmington Hammerheads out of USL-2

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 12:22 PM

WECT in Wilmington, N.C. is reporting that the Wilmington Hammerheads, regular season champions of the USL-2 in 2009, are out of the league. It appears to be unrelated to the turmoil in the first division, having more to do with the finances of team owner Chuck Sullivan, who took over the club prior to the 2008 season. The report notes that the franchise reportedly encountered difficulties paying players on time, but that those obligations have now been met. We're knee-deep in other work today, but we'll be keeping an eye on this. WECT Sports has learned that the United Soccer...

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Interview with RailHawks president Wellman: USL actions "unfortunate and unnecessary"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 7:15 AM

Last night the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact advanced to the USL-1 finals with victories in the two-leg semifinal round. Not only will there be an all-Canadian final, but this represents the victory of the No. 5 and No. 7 seeds over the league's "big four" of Portland, Carolina, Puerto Rico and Charleston that had dominated regular season play. And there's an irony at work, too, for the two remaining teams are also members of the dissident USL-1 owners' group known as the Team Owners Association. Last week, the USL took steps to sever ties with Carolina, Miami...

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blue Devils-Hokies Slideshow

Posted By on Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 9:30 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM It was great weather for football, and here's a slideshow from Saturday's afternoon contest featuring the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies against the Duke University Blue Devils. (Photos by Rob Rowe) If you want to read the post-game article, you can find that by clicking here....

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Aggies pull out a double-overtime squeaker to end Eagles' spell

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 10:52 PM

AGGIE STADIUM/GREENSBORO It's an early evening start for N.C. Central's game at North Carolina A&T, which the official program is touting as "The Greatest Football Rivalry in North Carolina." At least in terms of intensity, it certainly has to be in the argument. Say it with me, boys and girls. These two teams just do not like each other. They've been playing almost since World War I, and are former rivals in both the CIAA and MEAC. Next season they'll be MEAC rivals once again as the Eagles - who won't be able to compete for the title until...

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N.C. State loses first road, ACC test

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 7:23 PM

ESPNU - Russell Wilson's interception-free streak was broken and missed tackles again plagued N.C. State as the Wolfpack went down 30-24 to Wake Forest on Saturday in the team's first road and conference game of the year. The contest ended up a shootout between Wilson and Demon Deacon signal-caller Riley Skinner, who ended the game with 354 yards and three TDs through the air. Wilson did just about everything to keep his team in the game, scrambling for a touchdown, and picking up huge third-down conversions, once on a Brett Favre-style flip pass. Ultimately though, he made a critical mistake...

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UVa 16, UNC 3: Winless Cavs send Heels soul searching

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 4:50 PM

KENAN MEMORIAL STADIUM/ CHAPEL HILL—Trailing 9-3 at home with the defense keeping UNC in the game, the Tar Heel offense went three-and-out to begin the fourth quarter. Not once.  But two times in a row the Heels failed to gain a first down after the defense did its part.  The second possession ended with an interception by UVa's Chase Minnifield -- which was the first of Yates two interceptions.  UVa converted the turnover into the decisive touchdown with an 8-yard run by Mikell Simpson. Virgina prevented the Heels from even sniffing the endzone and won its 10th game out...

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Duke comes close, but No. 6 Hokies win it in the fourth quarter

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM Duke gets a very big opportunity on a sunny and warm day in the Bull City. The Blue Devils are all right after a 2-2 non-conference start, riding pretty high after a 49-14 romp over N.C. Central in the inaugural Bull City Gridiron Classic last week. The visitor is No. 6 Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0), the favorite to win the ACC and a team on a roll after a 31-7 romp over then-No. 9 Miami a week ago in Blacksburg. Frank Beamer's Hokies have won eight straight in the series, and the only close one of...

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UVa 6, UNC 0: Cavs, Heels engaged in punter's duel

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Kenan Memorial Stadium/Chapel Hill --  North Carolina's offense continued its struggles, scoring zero points and drawing several drive-killing penalties against the Cavaliers (0-3). UNC has scored only one touchdown in the first quarter through the first five games but outscored opponents 37-13 in the second quarter. Key play of the half:  Offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty that ruined UNC's best chance at scoring in the first half.  Before this game, UNC led the ACC in fewest penalty yards (31.5 per game) but committed three penalties for 40 yards in the first half alone. Key...

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RailHawks, USL on the brink? Scrubbing begins on USL Web site

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 12:57 PM

The confrontation between the new ownership of the United Soccer Leagues and a dissident group of first division owners led by the Carolina RailHawks has escalated a notch. Three dissident clubs, including the RailHawks, haven't paid their fees to participate next season. On the USL's Web site, work has begun to remove links to the RailHawks, as well as to the Miami FC and Minnesota Thunder clubs. On one page, the soccer-ball icons for those three cities has been removed. On others, the club crest and mascot names have been removed.  In a just-published post on Inside Minnesota Soccer, blogger...

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Friday, October 2, 2009

And they're...off? 'Canes drop season opener to Flyers, 2-0

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> A surprise Matt Cullen shot zoomed past a sleeping Ray Emery’s pad and made a beeline for the goal line. The crowd stood up in anticipation. It seemed destined for the back of the net...but somehow bounced harmlessly off the goal post, miles away from the nearest ‘Canes player searching for a rebound and was swept away by a Flyers player. That’s sort of how opening night went for the Carolina Hurricanes in a nutshell. The Hurricanes were shut out by Ray Emery in his Flyers debut thanks to a stagnant...

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Eagles look to end slide against Aggies for the second straight year

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM

It's a game that has gone by many names in the past, like the "Aggie-Eagle Classic" for its long run at Raleigh's Carter-Finley Stadium and the "Turkey Day Classic" back when it and every other big college football game in the country seemed to be played on Thanksgiving Day. N.C. Central and North Carolina A&T will meet at Aggie Stadium on Saturday night at 6, marking the second time the teams have faced off in Greensboro in three years. Although parents and children and husbands and wives and certainly neighbors and co-workers who are usually rational people may start snapping...

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Olympics fever: Catch it ... or don't

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 9:24 AM

UPDATE 11:44 am: Chicago was "stunningly eliminated" in the first round of voting, as was Tokyo. UPDATE 2 1:08 pm: It's Rio. This morning we step away from the hurly-burly of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary sports to consider the big question of the day: Which overreaching metropolis will earn the right to build billions of dollars of new infrastructure, displace neighborhoods, clean up its slums and become a two-week platform for the Olympic spirit and a future superhuman like Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt? Yes, the 2016 Summer Olympics are up for grabs. In the running are...

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Duke gets a big opportunity Saturday against No. 6 Hokies

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Duke had a respectable non-conference portion of its season in September, although the opener against Richmond may long be thought of as "one that got away." Since there's nothing the Blue Devils can do about that now, they have one clear assignment if they're going to realize second-year coach David Cutcliffe's dream of a quick bowl bid. They have to go at least 5-3 in the ACC - they have to finish with at least seven wins, since Saturday's 49-14 victory in their historic first meeting with cross-town rival N.C. Central won't count toward bowl qualification. Saturday's home game against...

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