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UNC running game facing early challenges

North Carolina's running game misses Giovani Bernard, who also wasn't a bad punt returner. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — We’re only two games into the season – it’s way early yet – but there is cause for concern about the North Carolina running game. Larry Fedora, the Tar Heels’ second-year coach, expressed surprise on Saturday after the Tar Heels struggled to run effectively in the 40-20 victory against Middle Tennessee State.

That sluggish performance followed another one at South Carolina, where UNC gained 99 rushing yards. Two games into the season, UNC ranks 94th nationally in rushing, and the Tar Heels are averaging just 3 yards per carry. Not good.

UNC football concludes camp: What we learned

The North Carolina offensive line faced plenty of questions, but overall it came together well during the preseason. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina on Monday finished up the formal “camp” portion of the preseason. Obviously, there’s still a bit of time – nine days, to be exact – before the Tar Heels begin the season on Aug. 29 at South Carolina. And so there is some preseason remaining.

But the rest of it will be focused on preparing for the Gamecocks. UNC on Monday actually began installing its game plan for South Carolina. Before that practice, on Saturday, the Tar Heels moved out of the hotel they shared during the past three weeks.

Indeed, camp is over. But, good or bad, the work the Tar Heels accomplished in recent weeks is likely to carry on throughout the season. Here’s a look at some things we learned from UNC’s preseason camp …

UNC WR Jordan Fieulleteau among four early enrollees

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora on Wednesday welcomed four early enrollees. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — Four incoming football players enrolled early at North Carolina and began classes on Wednesday. The Tar Heels’ four early enrollees are: wide receiver Jordan Fieulleteau, running back Khris Francis, offensive lineman R.J. Prince and quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Fieulleteau, who arrives at UNC from Wakefield High in Raleigh, caught 111 passes for 1,669 yards during his senior season. He earned Associated Press All-State honors. Francis, from Hillside High in Durham, ran for 2,100 yards and 27 touchdowns during his senior season. ranks him the No. 31 running back in the country.

Prince, from Albemarle High, was a member of North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team (along with Francis). And Trubisky, from Mentor (Ohio) High, earned was named Ohio’s Mr. Football by the Associated Press. He threw for 4,063 yards and 42 touchdowns during his senior season.

Hillside's Francis, Wiggins pick Tar Heels

Durham Hillside junior football standouts Khris Francis and Korrin Wiggins committed to the University of North Carolina on Wednesday night while making unofficial visits during the Duke-Carolina basketball game.

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