Butch Davis is Back
After three nice recruiting classes, Butch Davis has put North Carolina on the
road to respectability and a winning season.
By Steve Patterson
Davis a Tar Heel
After a good career with the Miami
Hurricanes (51-20) and a bad stint as the Cleveland Browns head coach (24-35),
people were slightly shocked that Butch Davis took the job as the head coach of
the North Carolina Tar Heels. It’s a basketball school in a weak ACC conference
Davis stepped into the Head
Coaching position with NC in November of 2006, only three months before high
school seniors would select their colleges for the upcoming season. He was able
to add 5 more members to a 28 member class that ranked 25th overall
nationally in quality.
class was the best of the three that he has signed, ranked 14th
overall with 24 high schools seniors. The 2008 class was a little bit smaller
at 19 recruits but still ranked 30th nationally. 2009 could be good too
if the team continues to show they can win as they did Thursday night against Rutgers.
In a game that was over in the 2nd
quarter, quarterback T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes while the Tar
Heels beat a sloppy Rutgers team 44-12. Yates finished 14-of-22 for 221 yards. Wide Receivers
Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate put up big numbers with Tate being wide open down
the field a number of times.
Tate was good for four catches and 138
yards. He caught one pass for 69-yard and a touchdown that set the tone for the
game. Nicks had six catches himself for 63 yards and two TDs. But the offense wasn’t the only part of the game
that NC did well in.
The Tar Heels had four
interceptions with Mike Teel making three of the four. The fourth came when Linebacker
Bruce Carter picked off a bobbled pass and returned it 66 yards for a score. So
the defense looked just as good as the offense against the struggling Scarlet
“For us, it's nice to win this
said afterward. "But for us it's 12 one-week seasons. We got an unbelievable
monumental task next week against Virginia Tech. I think what it does, what you
hope all victories do, is validate the sacrifices you are asking your players
to make because we are asking them to do an awful lot to try to become good.”