For 13 years now an event conceived and hosted by former Tar Heel coach Bill Dooley has been the unofficial start to the college football season. The Triangle Pigskin Preview was held in Cary on July 23 with head coaches from Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, East Carolina and N.C Central on the dais.
The coaches presented Dooley, the Tar Heel coach from 1967-77, with a plaque commemorating his years of service to the game through the Bill Dooley Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
And then each of them talked about their respective teams. The Tar Heels report for camp this weekend, and practice begins Monday Aug. 3 on Navy Field. Carolina coach Larry Fedora has spent much of the off-season contrasting the fact that his team returns every offensive starter except one (tight end Jack Tabb) but has a new staff and new scheme on defense.
“The jury’s still out on where we are as a defense,” Fedora says. “We have a whole new staff and an entirely new philosophy. I think our guys did a great job this spring learning everything they could, the fundamentals and basics of it. Gene Chizik is a proven winner and has two national championship rings, so we’re in good hands. His presence has made a world of difference already. I certainly think we’ll be improved, but I’m anxious to get to the season and find out.”
Seniors Marquise Williams and Quinshad Davis will return to action after missing spring ball while recovering from off-season surgeries, and Williams and sophomore Mitch Trubisky will offer a formidable one-two punch at a key position.
Several days later in an interview with ESPN, Fedora noted the lofty goals he’s set for the program.
“The ceiling is a national championship, we can win a national championship at the University of North Carolina,” he says. “And we will. That’s why I came here and that’s my goal. Eventually, we’ll get it done.”
Tickets for both the North Carolina A&T and Miami games will be reduced for Carolina Football Lettermen and their families—$15 for A&T on Sept. 12 and $20 for Miami Nov. 14. There is also a special offering for a Tar Heel Terrace gathering for Lettermen only for the A&T game at $55 per ticket—first-come, first-served—and includes access to a cash bar (beer/wine), catered buffet, five flat screen TVs and a unique view of Kenan Stadium. A ticket order form has been mailed to all Lettermen at the address on file. If you have not received it or would like to order directly from Brian Chacos of the Rams Club, call or write at 919-843-2519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.