Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tar Heels down 2 starters for up to a month

CHAPEL HILL -- North Carolina's offense will be without two starters for three to four weeks, UNC coach Butch Davis said Wednesday. Center Lowell Dyer (shoulder) and tight end Zack Pianalto (foot) will not play against East Carolina, and both could miss up to a month of the Tar Heels' season.

Davis said the significant injuries won't change UNC's game plan on offense.

"We are, kind of, who we are," Davis said. "We're not going to recreate the wheel in three days of practice. It would be detrimental to deviate and go in a different direction because some guys are injured."

Dyer, a senior, strained a muscle in his right shoulder during a practice drill on Sept. 9 and did not play in UNC's 12-10 win over Connecticut three days later. Dyer practiced in shorts on Tuesday, while his teammates were in full pads. He walked through the drills in the portion of practice that was open to the media.

Pianalto, a junior, dislocated the subtalar joint in his right foot in the fourth quarter of the UConn game. He rolled the side of his foot under his ankle after he jumped to celebrate his game-tying touchdown. Pianalto leads the team with 112 receiving yards after two games.

Ed Barham will replace Pianalto in the starting lineup. Christian Wilson, Barham's backup, also will see action. Another tight end, senior Ryan Taylor, has been out since he sprained the MCL in his right knee in training camp.

Dyer's injury is the latest to affect a depleted offensive line. In the spring, starting left guard Aaron Stahl graduated and decided not to use his final season of eligibility.

Then sophomore guard Kevin Bryant left the program in August for personal reasons, and tackle Carl Gaskins tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a season-ending injury the first week of training camp.

In addition, left guard Jonathan Cooper sprained his right ankle in the season-opening win over The Citadel. He did not play against UConn but did practice on Tuesday.

"We've lost significant amount of offensive linemen, going back seven or eight months," Davis said. "Our coaches have done a good job to try to settle that group down and focus on fundamentals."

-- J.P. Giglio


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to the beat down of UNC-CH in Atlanta next year against LSU. It will be UGLY. Visor Boy Jr. will be crying.

Anonymous said...

This weekend does not look good for UNC.

Anonymous said...

At least UNC-CH scheduled beefcake opponent LSU next year! GEAUX Heels!

Anonymous said...

Duke has an impressive looking squad here. Go Duke!

DOOK-SUCKS said...

Blue Devils football??? HAHAHAHA that is rich. They SUCK!!! Williams Brice has never seen over 5000 people for any game other than the ones where the Heels are in town. They are less than an afterthought in the ACC. Last place just about EVERY YEAR. Dook will not win 2 games. Enjoy your Devils. Not to worry basketball season is just around... oh yea, never mind Roy will jsut issue another beatdown like he normally does to Rat.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see ECU take out the whine and cheese UNCers this weekend and then the ultimate disgrace: Duke beating UNC-CH in Kenan. Go Duke! Here's to lots of upcoming sleepless nights and teeth grinding in Chapel Hill!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Butch will blackmail UNC for another raise after this year's 5-7 finish. LOL!

Anonymous said...

If the football gods decide to take another of our linemen, our season will be over. The horror of losing to ECU at home seems nightmarish.

Anonymous said...

Losing to Dook at Kenan? Not going to happen. Keep dreaming sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

Duke stomped UNC at Kenan about 4 or 5 years ago. Score was 23-0 at halftime. They always keep it close with the Heels, despite the talent gap.