Just finished up in Chapel Hill covering the Tar Heels' 20-17 loss to Virginia Tech. It was an achingly familiar situation for UNC fans, as the club squandered a possible victory late. This one was more painful than most, as UNC lost a 17-3 lead in the second half as Virginia Tech scored the game's final 17 points.
Does that plot sound familiar? Maybe from a recent NFL game? Let me play a little "Jeopardy" theme music for you here. This all happened veeeeerry recently in a game you may have watched....
OK, time's up. That's exactly the scenario by which the Panthers won over the Chicago Bears last week. They were down 17-3 and they won 20-17 by scoring the game's last 17 points in a row.
I wrote my column for Sunday's paper about how the Tar Heels just haven't arrived yet. And they better hope quarterback T.J. Yates -- who missed the last quarter-and-a-half due to an ankle injury -- returns quickly. Redshirt freshman Mike Paulus, who had two fourth-quarter interceptions, looked nowhere near ready.
The postgame report on Yates was that he didn't break the ankle, it was just a sprain, but whether it was high (more severe) or low is uncertain. More tests will be run tomorrow to help determine whether he will be able to play in the game at Miami (which is 12 noon, Sept.27, and isn't going to be a picnic for whatever Tar Heel QB starts, although to be fair UNC did get a big win over the Hurricanes last year).