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UNC TE Jack Tabb suspended for first half against Miami

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina tight end and linebacker Jack Tabb will be suspended for the first half of the Tar Heels’ game against Miami on Oct. 17.

Tabb was ejected late in the fourth quarter of UNC’s 27-17 loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Tabb was called for a personal foul and Larry Fedora, UNC’s second year coach, said he had been told that Tabb threw a punch.

The ACC reviewed the play and decided on Tabb’s one-half suspension. Tabb earlier this season served a two-game suspension for violation of team rules and sat out the Tar Heels’ losses against Georgia Tech and ECU.

Virginia Tech 27, UNC 17: The look back

North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams accounted for more than 300 yards in his first collegiate start. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina lost its third consecutive game on Saturday – a 27-17 defeat against Virginia Tech in which the Tar Heels’ mistakes were familiar. The story off the game. And other notables, like what went into the decision to start quarterback Marquise Williams.

And now … the look back.

UNC vs. Virginia Tech: A preview and a prediction

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora has challenged his team to respond after a disappointing loss against ECU last week. ROBERT WILLETT

ON THE ROAD TO BLACKSBURG -- Riding up the mountain now. North Carolina plays at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Some things to know:

UNC vs. Virginia Tech: Ask a Hokies beat writer

North Carolina mostly had its way against Virginia Tech last year in Chapel Hill. But a fierce Hokies' defense awaits this time around in Blacksburg. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — And welcome back, folks, to another edition of ask a beat writer of the team that’s playing against North Carolina this week. This week, that team is Virginia Tech. And that beat writer is Andy Bitter, who covers the Hokies for the Virginian-Pilot and Roanoke Times.

You can check out Andy’s blog right here. And follow him on Twitter right here. And check out my answers to his five questions right here.

Let’s get to it:

UNC defensive coordinator Vic Koenning on the many faults of the Tar Heels defense

CHAPEL HILL -- Vic Koenning is a religious man, one who quotes scripture and keeps a large Bible in his office inside the Kenan Football Center at North Carolina. And so perhaps it was to be expected that Koenning, the assistant coach most responsible for leading the Tar Heels' defense, treated his regular gathering with reporters earlier this week as a kind of confessional.

Koenning's defense last Saturday allowed more than 600 yards during the Tar Heels embarrassing 55-31 defeat against East Carolina. It was the latest in a long line of dreadful defensive performances, dating to last season, and Koenning on Wednesday sounded like a man searching both for answers and for atonement.

UNC offensive coordinator Blake Anderson on Bryn Renner: He will be fine for Saturday

Bryn Renner threw for a career-high 366 yards against ECU, but he had some accuracy issues before sustaining a foot injury late in the game. CHUCK LIDDY

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner greeted media members earlier this week while wearing a protective boot on his left foot. He said he wouldn’t say how he got hurt, or how severe his injury is, but it’s clear that he’s hobbled and that he’s likely to be limited when the Tar Heels play at Virginia Tech on Saturday.

How limited? That remains to be seen. Renner practiced on Tuesday, but not at full speed. Blake Anderson, the UNC offensive coordinator, acknowledged that Renner’s status is “a concern” but Anderson also attempted to allay fears about Renner’s status for Saturday.

UNC coach Larry Fedora: ECU loss was as bad as I thought it was

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora had difficulty identifying positives from his team's loss against ECU. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina coach Larry Fedora opened his weekly press conference earlier today with this:

“You all know the old saying, ‘It’s never as bad as you think it is and it’s never as good as you think it is?’ So you go in and look at the film. Well, it was as bad as I thought it was. So I proved that wrong.”

Fedora went on:

UNC RB A.J. Blue: Complacent Tar Heels took ECU lightly

North Carolina running back A.J. Blue said the Tar Heels "definitely" took ECU lightly. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina senior running back A.J. Blue said he sensed that “certain guys knew they weren’t going to give it 100 percent” during the Tar Heels’ game against ECU on Saturday. And the Tar Heels certainly appeared flat during their 55-31 defeat against the Pirates.

After the loss, Blue, who is considered by teammates and coaches as one of the Tar Heels’ leaders, addressed the team in the locker room. Then he shared his frustration with reporters. Blue said UNC entered the game with a sense of complacency, and also said the Tar Heels overlooked the Pirates.

ECU 55, UNC 31: Tar Heels embarrassed against Pirates

North Carolina never recovered from an early 14-0 deficit against ECU. CHUCK LIDDY

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina endured a 55-31 loss against ECU on Saturday. Here’s the story of the game – which, really, is a story about a team that seemed to take its opponent lightly and paid for it dearly.

UNC vs. ECU: A preview and a prediction

Can Bryn Renner and the North Carolina offense get it going against ECU? ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina hosts East Carolina on Saturday at Kenan Stadium. We’re not out of September yet but, already, you get the feeling that this is a must-win for the Tar Heels. A loss here would be bad. Very bad.

Onward …

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