Monday, April 16, 2012
UNC, Clemson spring game recaps
By Matt Fortuna
Told you we'd be back. Here's a look at what went down this weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Clemson, S.C.
The Blue team beat the White team 44-21, but it actually led by a 44-7 margin, as the White team was spotted 14 points at halftime to make the contest a bit more competitive. Got it? K, good.
Bryn Renner looks to have adapted to coach Larry Fedora's up-tempo pace well, completing 23 of 28 passes for 295 yards and two scores for the Blue team. Fedora has said that every position is up for grabs, but Renner certainly has the inside track at this point. Marquise Williams went 17-for-32 for 123 yards and a touchdown.
"For me, it was awful slow out there and sluggish in between the plays," Fedora said. "We've still got a ways to go in understanding the tempo. But it's not hard to see the stress you can put on the defense when you start moving the chains a few times and you've got tempo going."
A.J. Blue led the ground attack with 98 yards on 15 carries, and three different receivers had at least five receptions for 50 or more yards. Romar Morris totaled 75 yards rushing and receiving, scoring three times in the first half (two receiving, one rushing).
The Tar Heels actually finish their spring practice season Monday.
Dabo Swinney, as you might have guessed by now, would like to see teams get more out of spring ball. That includes his Tigers squad, which ended regulation deadlocked at 20.
So, like the other football, Swinney had his kickers decide the game, which ended with the Orange team posting a 23-20, double-overtime win against the White squad thanks to a 45-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro.
"It was one of those deals where I really didn't want to play more, but I certainly did not want to walk off the field with a tie," said Swinney, who had each team kick from 50 yards out in the first overtime, with neither side connecting.
A record 28,000 turned out for the spring game, which doubled as DeAndre Hopkins' coming-out party. The junior-to-be had seven catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins has added roughly 20 pounds since last season, and Swinney has labeled him as the squad's MVP of the spring season. Hopkins caught five passes for 100 yards in the first quarter alone Saturday.
Hopkins took home a pair of spring awards, all of which can be found here.