UNC's Renner should play Thursday
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner said Monday he has recovered from a mild concussion suffered in a loss to rival North Carolina State and is ready for Thursday’s trip to No. 9 Virginia Tech.
Renner took several hard hits against the Wolfpack on Nov. 5 and left the game briefly late in the first half to go to the locker room. He passed two concussion tests there, but interim coach Everett Withers said the Tar Heels pulled him for good late in the third as he continued to have concussion-related symptoms in the 13-0 loss.
Withers said Renner returned to practice last Thursday during the team’s bye week.
“He was anxious to go Tuesday of last week,” Withers said. “He’s the type of kid you almost have to put a harness around him to keep him from practicing and preparing. … We felt for his health and for a lot of reasons, just not to put him out there until Thursday.”
Renner wouldn’t elaborate on how he felt during the second half of the N.C. State game, saying only he “just wasn’t feeling right.” Braden Hanson played out the fourth quarter for the Tar Heels (6-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Renner said he didn’t think it was a single hit that caused his concussion, including one on an unblocked rush from linebacker Audie Cole that left Renner slow to get up and clutching at his shoulder. He also fumbled on a hard sack on the Tar Heels’ first possession.
“I think it was a combination of plays,” Renner said. “There were two or three that we looked at (on film) that it could have been either one.”
Renner was just 9-for-17 for 76 yards and two interceptions against N.C. State.
He had a 74-yard touchdown pass to Dwight Jones wiped out by a penalty on the play in which he took the hard hit from Cole.
When asked whether the Tar Heels would take any special precautions with Renner against the Hokies, Withers said, “Hopefully we protect him better.”
Renner, a first-time starter as a sophomore, leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally in passing efficiency. He has completed 71 percent of his passes for 2,271 yards and 19 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.
Renner is four shy of tying the school’s single-season record for touchdown throws.