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ACC Week 3 Predictions

Illinois at North Carolina: Expect plenty of fireworks in this game. Both teams are averaging over 30 points per game and are led by solid quarterbacks in Wes Lunt (Illinois) and Marquise Williams (North Carolina). The Tar Heels have improved on defense under new coordinator Gene Chizik, and I think that’s the difference in this game. North Carolina 38-31 (Athlon Sports)

Opponent Preview: Illinois

The Fighting Illini comes into Kenan Stadium at noon on Saturday for Carolina's third game of the season. This is weirdly a must win game for the Heels since a loss probably means that the Heels will finish the year with six or fewer wins. If the Heels only win six games then they are not initially bowl eligible since you can only count one win against an FCS team for your bowl eligibility. (Tar Heel Blog)

Fedora thinks players should have five years of elgibility

In Monday's North Carolina football media availability CarolinaBlue asked UNC head Larry Fedora about redshirting players and the thought process that goes into burning redshirts versus holding players out. The fourth year head coach then moved the discussion to eligibility and gave an interesting and insightful take on the topic. (Carolina Blue)

UNC's defensive line looks to execute in backfield

The North Carolina defensive line has struggled to finish. Tasked with anchoring the defense, stopping the run and attacking opposing quarterbacks, the unit has yet to meet expectations this season. “The first two games weren’t up to our standard,” said defensive tackle Jeremiah Clarke. “We’re just missing opportunities in the backfield.” (Daily Tar Heel)

Key practice quotes: Fedora and Chizik

Larry Fedora on the importance of turnovers against Illinois: "Here’s what I’ll tell you; they’ve scored 96 points in two games and allowed three points. That’s pretty dang good. It we don’t get [turnovers] it’s going to be a tough day. We know we have to win that turnover battle so offensively we have to take care of the ball and defensively we have to get turnovers." (Carolina Blue)

UNC Cornerback Malik Simmons Back in Play

Senior cornerback Malik Simmons has served his two-game suspension for violating team rules and is eligible to play in Saturday’s matchup with Illinois. Simmons was listed on UNC’s preseason depth chart as a co-starter at cornerback after starting 15 games and recording 81 tackles the previous two seasons at the ram position, a hybrid safety-linebacker role. (Inside Carolina)

Lucas Crowley: "We are all more confident in the way we play"

Lucas Crowley on Illinois' defense and their defensive line: "They are very solid up front. They are all big guys. Athletic. One of the better defenses we have seen this year. So I think we just have to buckle down, get in the film room, and make sure we know all of their tendencies and stuff like that. Go out there and play the way we need to play." (Carolina Blue)

Video: Larry Fedora Wednesday Post-Practice Interview

North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora discusses winning the turnover battle, getting more pressure from the defensive line, and preparing for Illinois after practice on September 16th, 2015. View Video...

Ravens Cut QB Bryn Renner

The Ravens cut third-string quarterback Bryn Renner and signed 6-foot-5, 304-pound offensive tackle Tony Hills, who has played for eight different teams over seven seasons....The Ravens will not carry a third quarterback for now. (Baltimore Ravens)

Lions TE Eric Ebron posts solid game after shaky start

Eric Ebron, the Detroit Lions' often-criticized tight end, got his second season off to a strong start in Sunday's 33-28 loss against the San Diego Chargers. Ebron had four catches, including a nicely executed touchdown, on five targets for a team-leading 53 receiving yards. On Monday he showed off yet a little more skill, upping his game in the maturity department and deflecting praise. (Detroit Free Press)

Illinois' shifty scheme creates opportunities for Tar Heels

North Carolina faces a "deceptive" Illinois defense this week, according to Larry Fedora. But the Tar Heels' offensive coordinator says the key to executing against the Fighting Illini's "unorthodox" scheme is simple. Illinois' tendency to drop into one-on-one coverage, as it commits defenders to stopping the run, is something UNC's receivers like seeing. (WRAL Sports Fan)

Seth Littrell breaks down the Illinois defense

The Illinois defense has only given up three points in two wins this season over Kent State and Western Illinois. Sure, the competition is not on the power five level, but their is no denying that the Illini have been stringent. CarolinaBlue spoke with UNC second-year offensive coordinator Seth Littrell to get the low down on what the Illini bring on defense. (Carolina Blue)

Determining UNC's 3rd Down Conversion Goals

Football fans, by and large, tend to view third downs in isolation, where success is found in every conversion and disappointment follows every missed opportunity. UNC head coach Larry Fedora prefers a more technical approach, utilizing statistical analysis to determine what third down conversion rate is satisfactory over the course of a game and season. (Inside Carolina)

Interview with ACC Commissioner John Swofford

John Swofford: "(I) ended up going to North Carolina and started as a quarterback as a sophomore, but missed about four games with injuries. I started the first five games of my junior year at quarterback and threw one too many interceptions and in a week I was a defensive back. Then I finished my career playing as a defensive back, and spent my senior year playing less than I had ever played." (Football Matters)

UNC defense stresses turnovers

Force turnovers and win the game. Turn the ball over and lose. Simple idea right? As much as the offense does not want to turn the ball over it's almost as important that the defense works to create turnovers. Game changing plays, like turnovers, can mean the difference. On Saturday night against N.C. A&T, the Tar Heel forced three turnovers, all in the first half. (Carolina Blue)

Football Schedule at a Glance
Last Game:
North Carolina: 21
NC State: 28
Fri, Nov 25 Box Score

Upcoming Games:
UNC vs. Stanford
Fri, Dec 30, 2:00 ET CBS Tickets

Full UNC Football Schedule

Radio Affiliates

ACC Football Standings
Coastal DivisionACCOverall
(22) Virginia Tech6-39-4
North Carolina5-38-4
(23) Pittsburgh5-38-4
Georgia Tech4-48-4

Atlantic DivisionACCOverall
(2) Clemson8-112-1
(13) Louisville7-19-3
(11) Florida State5-39-3
NC State3-56-6
Wake Forest3-56-6
Boston College2-66-6

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