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Click here for Carolina basketball analysis.
Check back prior to the 2008 season for a preview and a program outlook.
Click here to keep up with the 2008 run to the World Series.

Tumultuous 2010 campaign ends with a satisfying overtime bowl victory.

Carolina Football: Golden anniversary of a redeeming 50-0 victory over Duke.

Carolina Football: Excerpts from an article on the history of the Carolina-Duke rivalry.

Off the cuff: To wrap up the football season: there were just too many errors - turnovers, key penalties, missed opportunities - for the Carolina football team to win the bowl game against WVU. As good a season as it was this year, it was frustrating to lose four of the five defeats late in the game and in dramatic fashion.

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Heel Prints reviewed each UNC game
As a student sports editor years ago, prior to the season, Clifton Barnes predicted a national championship for the Tar Heels and indeed they won. In fact he wrote his lede paragraph for the national championship game almost a year early. He regrets that he didn't keep a journal after each game. While he didn't predict a championship this season, he did have those same feelings. He kept a journal after each game of the 2007-2008 season and you can reach them here. He recently completed writing about UNC's baseball season and will write an analysis after each UNC football game.

Editor's Note: HeelPrints chronicled the UNC basketball, baseball and football seasons for 2008 and 2009. Since the vast majority of comments I get about the site relate to basketball and since this isn't a paying job for me, I have decided to limit my coverage and analysis to basketball. Baseball and football will remain archived and if I have comments or opinions I want to make on those or any other sports at UNC, I will make them on the front page and then archive them in the corresponding sports section. Thanks for all the positive comments I have received about the site. Should I get sponsorship in the future, I will reconsider adding baseball and football again. Ironically, my favorite sports to watch in person are baseball and football. But my first connections to UNC came from watching Dean Smith's basketball teams on TV or listening to them on the radio in the days before all the games were televised. It should come as no surprise that people pay more attention to the basketball coverage. Thanks for your interest in this site.


2008 Season

Tate almost singlehandedly beats tough McNeese St. team
North Carolina picks off Rutgers for key road victory
Carolina blows it with turnovers, penalties
U stands for Upset and UNC, the real U
Carolina turns the lights out on No. 24 UConn
Carolina escapes Notre Dame, inept officials
Another painful loss in Charlottesville
Big pass plays, key interceptions do in BC
UNC keeps GT backed up; ties for first
UNC can't stop Maryland on third and longs
Dismal effort drops Heels out of contention
Yates, Nicks hook up for key TD reception

Mountaineers 31,Tar Heels 30
WVU "Nicks" Carolina with late TD in Meineke Bowl

In a game that capsulized an entire UNC football season of “what ifs,” the Tar Heels fell to West Virginia in the Meineke Bowl game in Charlotte 31-30. (12/27)

What if Shaun Draughn hadn't fumbled in the fourth quarter setting up the winning touchdown?

What if, with the Heels ahead 23-21, a wide open Greg Little hadn't short-armed a long pass that probably would have gone for a touchdown?

What if kicker Jay Wooten hadn't kicked off out-of-bounds giving West Virginia good field position at the 40 (they drove in for a score)?

What if, on fourth and goal from the 1, the Heels had elected to go for a field goal or let someone besides the quarterback run the ball?

What if punter Terrence Brown had kicked it further than 29 yards and pinned West Virginia deep in their territory late in the game?

What if the defense had been able to stop West Virginia on a third down in the first half?

What if, with two minutes to play, quarterback T.J. Yates had gone down the field instead of throwing short right into the arms of a waiting linebacker that sealed the loss?

What if Hakeem Nicks had kept up his extraordinary first half play in the second half?

The Mountaineers were burned by two long Nicks TD receptions in the first half of 66 and 72 yards. Nicks, who had five receptions for 181 yards in the first half, scored all three of Carolina 's first-half touchdowns. But the Mountaineers made adjustments and held Nicks to three receptions for 36 yards in the second half.

Carolina fell behind early 7-0 but quickly came back on a circus catch by Nicks to tie it at 7-7. West Virginia , behind game MVP QB Pat White, scored again in the first quarter to go ahead 14-7.

On the ensuring drive, UNC running back Cooter Arnold completed a long pass to Nicks, who stiff-armed defenders and scored on the 66-yard play to make it 14-all.

Still in the first quarter, White threw 35 yards for a touchdown to put West Virginia up 21-14.

Little ran the kickoff back to mid-field and the Heels moved it all the way inside the three. Carolina ran it three times but could only manage to get it to the one. A strange delayed quarterback run on fourth down failed.

The Heels were able to get a safety on the Mountaineers first play from there to make it 21-16.

A 25-yard touchdown pass from Yates to Nicks put the Heels up 23-21. West Virginia drove all the way inside the five with less than a minute to play but UNC's Deunta Williams ended the drive with an interception in the end zone.

With nine minutes left in the third quarter, West Virginia re-took the lead on a field goal to make it 24-23.

A Carolina drive, highlighted by a third-down catch off his hip, thigh and butt by Nicks, ended on a Yates TD run that gave UNC a 30-24 advantage.

The Heels held that lead, stopping West Virginia on fourth and one in the fourth, but Draughan fumbled the ball back to the Mountaineers at the UNC 35 with about eight minutes to go.

White drove the Mountaineers down the field quickly, completing a 20-yard TD pass to Alric Arnett to put West Virginia up 31-30 with just over seven minutes to go.

Carolina moved the ball but a muffed handoff led to a punt with less than four minutes to go. A sack by Searcy forced the Mountaineers to punt on a three-and-out with more than three minutes to go.

The Heels picked up a first down but Yates threw an interception to Pat Lazear with two minutes to go and West Virginia ran out the clock.

The game ended shaky for the Heels, with two turnovers in the fourth quarter, and began shaky for the Heels, with early mistakes. West Virginia played with a short field most of the first half. For instance, on the opening drive of the game, a holding penalty negated a first down and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Draughn backed the Heels up deep and gave WVU good field position.

UNC never really had an answer for the West Virginia passing attack, which was not considered the team's strength. White threw for 332 yards to lead the Mountaineers to their fourth straight bowl victory.

West Virginia ends the season 9-4 while UNC finishes 8-5.


2008 Preview: UNC almost surely will improve
Look for Heels to have a winning record in Davis' 2nd year

Tate was lost for the season with knee injury
University of North Carolina senior wide receiver Brandon Tate injured his right knee in the first quarter of North Carolina's 29-24 win over Notre Dame and did not return. An examination by UNC Sports Medicine revealed a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). An MRI on Sunday night confirmed that diagnosis.

A senior from Burlington, Tate finishes his career as the NCAA's all-time leader in combined kick return yards with 3,523 yards. At the time of his injury, Tate was leading the ACC in all-purpose yards (163.7 yds/gm).

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