• 63°

Davis non-committal on UNC quarterbacks

By Aaron Beard
Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina relied on third-stringer Cameron Sexton to overcome the loss of starting quarterback T.J. Yates earlier this year.
Now that Yates is healthy again, the 25th-ranked Tar Heels might be ready to go back to their early season look.
Coach Butch Davis said Monday the Tar Heels will open the competition for the starting spot against rival N.C. State this weekend. Yates has practiced for about two weeks as he recovers from a broken left ankle he suffered against Virginia Tech in September, while Sexton has won four of six starts since the injury.
But Sexton didn’t play particularly well in a 17-15 loss at Maryland over the weekend, completing 10 of 24 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Before the loss, the Tar Heels (7-3, 3-3 ACC) had a chance to win the league’s Coastal Division by prevailing in their final three games.
Davis initially said Sunday that he was not planning a change, but he apparently changed his mind after meeting with his coaching staff later that night and Monday morning.
“It’s no disrespect to Cam,” Davis said. “Cam’s done an outstanding job for the most part. We’ve won games with him, he’s performed well, he’s made some good decisions. … Now that we have a situation where T.J.’s healthy, what is the best choice for our football team, because ultimately that’s how you have to make decisions: What’s the best for the football team at that given moment?”
Yates certainly has the edge in game experience. He started all 12 games as a redshirt freshman last year, throwing for a school single-season record 2,655 yards with 14 touchdowns and 18 interceptions despite playing with a shoulder injury late in the year. Before this season, Sexton’s only significant game action came when he lost four of five starts and threw four touchdowns with eight interceptions as a freshman in 2006.
Yates led the Tar Heels to wins against McNeese State and Rutgers. UNC had a second-half lead against the Hokies when he was injured while being taken down on a sack. The Tar Heels went with redshirt freshman Mike Paulus the rest of the way in that 20-17 loss, then gave Paulus the start the following week at Miami.
But Sexton came on in relief with a strong performance, throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns ó including the winning 14-yard score with 46 seconds left ó to cap a comeback from a 14-point deficit and beat the Hurricanes 28-24. He has held the job ever since, leading the Tar Heels past Connecticut, Notre Dame, Boston College and Georgia Tech. During that stretch, North Carolina’s losses at Virginia and Maryland came by a combined five points.
Yates returned with some mop-up duty late in a 28-7 win against the Yellow Jackets. He didn’t play last weekend.
As Yates recovered, Davis tried to deflect speculation about a possible quarterback switch by saying Sexton was likely to stay in the starting role. But Yates apparently performed well enough in a workout Sunday to open the competition.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Dreams of flight become reality at ASCEND summer camp

Local

Base salary for SPD officers increases to nearly $42,000 next week

News

‘He loved people:’ Larry Ford leaves behind legacy of legal achievement, community service

Local

Statewide pickleball tournament at Catawba College in September expected to draw hundreds of visitors

Local

Resources still available for those dealing with lingering impacts of pandemic

Education

Shoutouts: Misenheimer completes master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College

Education

State expands Principal of the Year to charter schools

High School

All-county baseball team: Norris Award winner Honeycutt made the most of a dozen games

Education

Partners in learning raises $3.2 million for new facility

Education

Tar Heel Boys State creates miniature government at Catawba College

News

NC medical marijuana legalization gets hearing in Senate

News

N. Carolina bill ending extra $300 benefits heads to Cooper

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 positives in Rowan at lowest point since start of pandemic

Education

Rowan Wild’s animal camp makes a comeback at Dan Nicholas Park

Coronavirus

Health officials say financial incentives helped vaccination rates; lottery drawing today

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry adopts budget that keeps tax rate flat

Business

Airport Advisory committee endorses plans for expansion at Mid-Carolina Regional

China Grove

China Grove will celebrate 40th Farmers Day with week full of festivities

Sports

Pistons win in NBA draft lottery; Hornets will get 11th pick

Crime

Officers in Locust arrest drivers who tried to flee; one was on motorcycle reported stolen from Rowan

News

Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions

News

Letter: Journalist won’t join UNC faculty without tenure

Crime

Chase from Mooresville ends with crash at Rowan Mill Road; two charged

Kannapolis

Dearmons gift two public art sculptures to city of Kannapolis