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.
“Any time you’ve got a guy that is hobbled, it’s going to be – it’s going to affect us,” Anderson said on Tuesday. “Yeah, it’s going to be a concern. I think he’ll be fine, but he got (banged) up pretty good. He got hit a couple of times but he made it through. And he’s a little sore right now, but he’ll be fine come Saturday.”
After completing 65.9 percent of his passes last season, Renner is off to a somewhat sluggish start this season – despite throwing for a career-high 366 yards in the loss against ECU last Saturday. Renner labored through the first half of that game, and completed 11 of his 23 passes. Among his incompletions was an interception.
Anderson on Tuesday spoke of Renner’s state of mind.
“I think he’s a perfectionist, and he would tell you he doesn’t think he’s playing well now,” Anderson said. “He really doesn’t focus on the other guys. He’s always kind of throw it back on himself. So he’s trying to keep his spirits up. He’s made some mistakes as well, but I don’t want him to carry the entire load.
“But he’s not happy with how he’s playing. He wants to play better. I think if he had a game where he didn’t throw an incompletion, he’d still feel like he could do something better, and that’s what you want. You want a guy to be hard on himself.”
Through the first four games, Renner has at times been noticeably off target. Accuracy was especially problematic during the first half against ECU, when Renner appeared to have difficulty releasing his passes cleanly. Some of his passes wobbled and fluttered. Some sailed high.
Anderson attributed some of the issues to perspiration.
“He had a couple get away from him,” Anderson said. “He did. He sweats so bad – he really does. His hands and arms will be dripping wet, and he missed a series where he didn’t get a towel or something, or it got ripped off. And he had a couple balls get away from him, no doubt. And he’s just got to be smart about it. He knows that it’s never stopped. … We get out of the meeting room, he’s sweating. So we just have to put another wrist band on, put another towel, and keep it dry as best we can and then let it rip.”