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Injury issues for UNC's O-line

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UNC could be missing two starting offensive lineman against Connecticut on Saturday. Left guard Jonathan Cooper and center Lowell Dyer are listed as questionable on the injury report released Thursday.

Cooper sprained his right ankle early in UNC's 40-6 win over The Citadel. The redshirt freshman finished the first half but sat out the second. He did not practice Wednesday and would have to make significant progress to play on Saturday.

Junior Greg Elleby, a converted defensive end, would start at left guard in Cooper's place. Elleby played the second half in Cooper's spot.

With the focus on Cooper's injury, Dyer's status had been under the radar. He has a shoulder injury, according to the injury report. Cam Holland, a sophomore, would replace Dyer at center.

UNC used 10 offensive linemen against The Citadel and coach Butch Davis said he would feel comfortable using as many as eight linemen against UConn. UNC's line depth was depleted this offseason with the exits of Aaron Stahl (graduation), Kevin Bryant (personal reasons) and the season-ending knee injury to Carl Gaskins.

Two true freshmen, Travis Bond and Brennan Williams, and a walk-on, Sam Ellis, played in the opener, which saw the Heels roll up 261 rushing yards.

UNC's injury report for UConn:

Out: WR Dwight Jones (knee), TE Ryan Taylor (knee); Questionable: G Jonathan Cooper (ankle), C Lowell Dyer (shoulder), FB Bobby Rome (illness), DT Jordan Nix (illness), CB Terry Shankle (illness)

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If the WRs can make a leap this week...

...then I think that could very well be the difference in the ECU game. There are a lot of IFs between now and September 19, but breaking out against UConn and carrying it over to ECU could make a huge difference in the outcome of this season.

there were if's ...

heading into Rutgers last season, too, and we over came them all until the dreaded injury's came about.

I sure hope the fill in's...

will be able to open up running lanes. UConn's defense prides itself on stopping the run. I'm thinking it may be time for the wr's to start getting used to college and crowds. That's because now they'll really be needed.

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.
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