Renner, Francis Highlight Spring Game
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Veteran quarterback Bryn Renner and true freshman tailback Khris Francis highlighted the 2013 North Carolina Spring Football Game Saturday in a contest won by the Blue team 34-10 over the White.
Renner led the Blue team, completing 16 of 27 attempts for 216 yards and three touchdowns. It was another solid performance for Renner who helped Carolina set more than 20 offensive records as a junior last season. Renner has set the single-season touchdown passing record in each of the last two years. He enters his senior season as one of the most prolific passers in UNC history.
Saturday, he connected with A.J. Blue on a 33-yard screen pass and later found Sean Tapley on a 48-yard crossing route as the Blue team surged to a 21-3 lead.
Meanwhile, Francis rushed 20 times for 101 yards to lead the White. A native of Durham, N.C., Francis enrolled in January along with four other scholarship freshmen and is experiencing his first spring practice in Chapel Hill. Mitch Trubisky, who also enrolled in January, took the majority of the snaps for the White. He completed 7 of 14 for 88 yards. He also played for the Blue team in relief of Renner and completed 3 of 4 attempts for 82 yards and hit Damien Washington for a 20-yard touchdown.
"Our team had a great spring," said head coach Larry Fedora. "We've come a long way. We've got a long way to go, but you got to see a few guys get out there and make some plays today. The guys played hard today and that was the main thing."
The Blue team was comprised of most of Carolina's projected 2013 starters. Blue and sophomore Romar Morris led the rushing attack. Blue carried eight times for 30 yards and Morris had 15 attempts for 80 yards.
"I thought all three of our running backs played well," said Fedora. "But Khris, for his first time out there in a game-type atmosphere, he did a good job. He hit some holes and exploded in them. One time I thought he got stood up. I said something to him and the next time he's got his shoulders down and he's running north-south. That's what he's got to do, so he did some nice things."
Defensively, senior end Kareem Martin was the standout performer of the day along with junior linebacker Travis Hughes. Martin finished with seven tackles, which included four sacks for 28 yards, while Hughes added a team-high 14 tackles, including two sacks for 14 yards.
At halftime, Carolina fans were treated to the debut of the Tar Heels new uniforms. Six players walked onto the field wearing assorted combinations of Carolina blue, white and black uniforms. The alternative all-black uniform will be worn on Thursday, Oct. 17 when the Tar Heels face Miami. The game is billed as Zero Dark Thursday and will be just the second ESPN Thursday night home game in UNC history.
"You should always have a great energy level in today's type atmosphere," said Fedora. "You've got all the things going out outside the stadium, inside the stadium. They saw the uniforms last night and they were jacked up about that. It was about them having fun today, and they did that."