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Three games left before conference play begins
- More A&E
Sports Today for Nov. 7, 2013
SoVaNow.com / November 06, 2013North Carolina football sustained a very tough blow this week.
Senior quarterback Bryn Renner underwent season-ending surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder yesterday at UNC Hospitals. The surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Alex Creighton, is required to repair a detached labrum and fracture in the injured shoulder.
The most accurate passer in UNC history with a 66.5 completion percentage, Renner finishes his Carolina career ranked second in passing touchdowns (64), third in passing yards (8,221), third in completions (668) and third in attempts (1,005).
A fifth-year senior from West Springfield, Renner started all but one game since the start of the 2011 season (32 total) and his career pass efficiency mark of 151.22 is the best in Atlantic Coast Conference history. This season, he completed 152 of 231 attempts for 1,765 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He ranks third in the ACC with 252.1 yards passing per game this year.
“We are disappointed to lose a senior leader and a great teammate like Bryn,” said UNC head coach Larry Fedora. “He has meant so much to the Carolina program and I’ve enjoyed coaching him the last two seasons. He is one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history and his contributions will be sorely missed.”
Virginia (2-7) is at North Carolina (3-5) Saturday.
FSU CLINCHER? No. 2 Florida State, which continues to shred the opposition, has an opponent the ‘Noles should not sleep on, Wake Forest.
The Deacons (4-5) host the sizzling Seminoles (8-0) at noon.
FSU, the nation’s second-ranked team in the most recent BCS standings, has a chance to clinch a berth in the ACC championship game for the third time in four years. Wake Forest also has to play FSU without flanker Michael Campanaro, the conference’s leading receiver, who is out with an injury.
It’s been 14 years since FSU started the season 8-0. The 1999 season is the last time the ‘Noles were 8-0 en route to a 13-0 campaign and the BCS National Championship.
CHAOS IN THE COASTAL: Miami, now ranked 11th in this week’s BCS, is the only team that can claim the Coastal division title by winning all of its remaining regular season games. The ‘Canes, now 7-1, host reeling Virginia Tech, now 6-3. The Hokies’ season suddenly has lost some of its luster, with the offense - and particularly the running game - blowing a gasket.
Tech’s problems start with its offensive line, and its inability to run the football. The ground game has been a staple of Tech’s offense ever since Frank Beamer’s arrival in Blacksburg. Also, Logan Thomas is clearly struggling with turnovers in the new offensive scheme. Tech is 100th in scoring offense (22.1); an anemic 107th in rushing offense (116.8); and 101st in total offense (348 yards per contest).
The woes of the offense are putting too much pressure on the Hokie defense, which is first nationally in passing defense (allowing 150.6 ypg) and third in total defense (253.2ypg).
Miami has lost running back Duke Johnson, who suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the remainder of the season.
Miami leads the Coastal at 3-1 in league play, followed by Georgia Tech (5-2, ACC), Virginia Tech (3-2) and Duke (2-2).
Virginia Tech remains in the running for the Coastal crown. Duke, meanwhile, hosts N.C. State in a game the Blue Devils needs badly. The Blue Devils can claim the Coastal by winning their final four games, including that looming Nov.16 showdown with Miami. The Blue Devils also have to get a break from Clemson, as Duke needs Georgia Tech to lose in Death Valley.
VIRGINIA’s WOES: Mike London, by all accounts, is safe this fall. Next year might be a different matter, if the Cavaliers don’t show significant improvement or at least go bowling.
Much of Virginia’s talent is wrapped up in its freshmen and sophomore classes, with the aftermath of several weak recruiting classes taking its toll. The Cavaliers appear to be headed to a 2-10 campaign.
Even with Renner’s absence, North Carolina, featuring standout tight end Eric Ebron, will be a very tough out for the Cavaliers Saturday in Chapel Hill.
Virginia’s Demetrious Nicholson is done for the year, and Brent Urban and Maurice Canada are expected back by the bye week.
Virginia has been strong in terms of time of possession and yardage, but the Cavs don’t have the overall points to match, and it’s a recurring issue in Charlottesville.
“There are a lot of things that we can obviously be better at, particularly when you get down inside the red zone. That’s a critical point of being able to score points, and we haven’t scored enough points,” said London.
London also denied he’s just too nice a guy to fire up this football operation.
London called himself an emotional, fiery energetic guy.
“We have to continue to keep teaching these guys and keep striving on that there is an expectation of performing.”
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