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Yates ready to step into starting NFL job, UNC history

It wasn't until Wednesday, three days after his NFL debut, that it hit T.J. Yates that his life was about to change.

The media throng, at least 20 deep, waiting at his locker opened his eyes to that. That's how life goes for a starting quarterback in the NFL, though.

"It's all been kind of crazy," Yates said in a phone interview Thursday.

Yates, the rookie quarterback for the Houston Texans, is about to step into the heat of an NFL playoff race and the history books.

Tudor's Take: T.J. Yates off and throwing


When it comes to producing NFL quarterbacks, the University of North Carolina arguably has the least impressive resume in major college football.

The Tar Heels began playing football in 1888 and still haven’t had a quarterback to really make it in the NFL.

Based on his professional debut in Houston’s 20-16 preseason win over the visiting New York Jets on Monday, T.J. Yates has a chance to make history for his alma mater.

Yates one of three UNC players drafted on third day

T.J. Yates began his senior season as a question mark and ended it as a fifth-round pick in the NFL draft.

The UNC quarterback went from scapegoat to star in 2010, leading the Tar Heels through an NCAA investigation, both on the field as the school's first 3,000-yard passer, and off the field as a leader and team spokesman with the media.

One last 'hurrah' for Tar Heels at pro day

CHAPEL HILL — There they were, all of North Carolina's football stars, together on the same field for one last time.

UNC's group of NFL hopefuls, which hadn't been seen in its entirety since August, put on a show for a swarm of NFL scouts and coaches on Thursday.

UNC's Williams: Yates could be a 'foxhole buddy'

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams gave starting quarterback T.J. Yates one of his ultimate compliments during the coach’s Monday evening radio show: “I'd take T.J. Yates …  as a foxhole buddy, because when it was chaos, that young man used his brain and he's tough enough to stand in there make  throws,’’ Williams said in the audio clip, which was provided by the school. “And I just love him to death.”

In his autobiography, published before last season, Williams describes a “foxhole buddy” as one in his close-knit group of friends “that will be together until the end of time.” Yates, a senior, earned Williams’ praise after last week’s Music City Bowl, where the player was able, amid chaos, to snap the ball with a second left on the clock (the time was put back on after hands were shaken and the play was reviewed).

Williams called it one of the greatest plays he has ever seen, and it allowed a game-tying field goal to force overtime. UNC ultimately beat Tennessee 30-27 in double OT.

Heels get 7th straight win over Duke, 24-19

DURHAM — There is a temporary sticker of a North Carolina helmet affixed to the front of the Victory Bell. The Tar Heels ought to find something more permanent, maybe a "Property of" plate to weld to the rickety sled.

The Tar Heels took home the Victory Bell, again, on Saturday with a 24-19 win over Duke at Wallace Wade Stadium. UNC has won seven straight and 20 of 21 in the series, including 11 straight at Duke.

Tudor's Take: Remarkable performance by the Tar Heels

If they ever get around to handing out overcoming-adversity trophies to players – and yes, coaches – North Carolina’s 2010 football team should be a measuring stick.

The Tar Heels’ 37-35 win Saturday at a homecoming game for Florida State (6-3 overall, 4-2 ACC/Atlantic) did more than qualify Carolina (6-3 overall, 3-2 ACC/Coastal) for a bowl bid and keep the team in contention for the ACC championship.

It put quarterback T.J. Yates squarely in the running for conference player of the year, established wide receiver Dwight Jones as a bona fide home-run hitter and gave Butch Davis’ many supporters plenty of additional momentum in a season marked by challenges on and off the field.

Tar Heels pull off wild 37-35 win at FSU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Wide right.

That's normally reserved for Florida State's series with Miami but the University of North Carolina will remember its own version after an historic win at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 40-yard field goal wide right in the final seconds as UNC held on for a wild 37-35 win.

Tar Heels romp UVa for historic win

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Move over Rod Elkins, step aside Brooks Barwick. North Carolina has new set of heroes from a road win over the University of Virginia.


It had been 29 years and 14 games but UNC ended an inglorious streak in spectacular fashion on Saturday night with a 44-10 romp at Scott Stadium.

Late Hits: Sept. 20

Late Hits archive

Michigan State: Mark Dantonio looks like Brooklyn Decker after his fake field goal call in overtime netted the Spartans a 34-31 win over Notre Dame.

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