UNC's Renner 'definitely' back under center
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said that third-year starting quarterback Bryn Renner will “definitely” start when UNC hosts No. 10 Miami on Thursday (7:45 p.m., ESPN).
Renner appeared to injure his left ankle against East Carolina on Sept. 28 and had his streak of 29 straight starts snapped in UNC’s 27-17 loss to Virginia Tech on Oct. 5.
Though Renner went through pre-game warm-ups against the Hokies, he couldn’t make a cut on the inside of his foot, which affected his mobility enough that he couldn’t protect himself. But the senior said he’s been at full speed since Tuesday and has been taking his full complement of repetitions in practice since then.
“He’s doing fine,” Fedora said after practice on Monday. “He’s moving around well. He hasn’t had any pain in the foot. He’s doing really good.”
Renner’s presence will be needed as UNC (1-4, 0-2 ACC) looks to beat a Top 10 team for the first time since knocking off the Hurricanes in 2004 in the first-ever conference meeting between the schools.
After an explosive year in Fedora’s first season with the team, the offense has taken a step back this year, ranking 93rd in the country in scoring. Miami’s defense is ranked ninth in points allowed.
Renner is 20th in the country in passing yards, averaging 279.3 per game, and has completed 70.1 percent of his passes in two previous starts against the Hurricanes (5-0, 1-0).
“It’s a huge game coming up for us,” Renner said. “We’re well rested, looking forward to a huge opportunity that we have here.”
Renner is on pace to break T.J. Yates’ school record for career yards and Darian Durant’s record for career touchdown passes.
In his place, sophomore Marquis Williams completed 23-of-35 passes for 277 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Hokies, though UNC only put up 10 points until it scored a touchdown with 1:09 remaining.
Williams also ran for a team-high 56 yards on 18 carries – the most rushing yards for a quarterback since Durant had 64 yards in the upset win over Miami in 2004.
Even though Renner is now healthy, offensive coordinator Blake Anderson indicated that Williams’ dual-threat ability could give him a bigger role going forward.
NOTES – A team spokesman said that 37 NFL scouts and five general managers (from the Steelers, Bears, Rams, Titans and Jaguars) had requested credentials for the Miami game as of Monday afternoon. The 37 scouts would represent a school record. …
UNC’s home game against Boston College on Oct. 26 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Carolinas, the ACC announced Monday. It will be the Tar Heels’ first 3:30 p.m. start – the first six dates have included two Thursday night games and four games at noon or 12:30 p.m. The other local ACC teams will kick off at 3:30 p.m., as Duke will play at Virginia Tech on ESPNU and N.C. State will play at Florida State on either ABC or ESPN.