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Music City Bowl: UNC vs. Tennessee

What: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN
When: Thursday, December 30th, 6:30 PM
Records: UNC 7-5, Tennessee 6-6

Alternate title: The So You Thought You Could Duck Us Bowl

And so the book will close on a trying 2010 for Carolina football with a bit of karma and good humor the college football gods have to love. The Tar Heels will face Tennessee, who raised eyebrows this year because they bought out their home-and-home series with UNC in order to lighten up their schedule. In what can be described either as irony or serendipity, the Volunteers won their last four games to become bowl eligible and earn a bowl date with Carolina anyway.

But karma’s sense of humor only goes so far, and the turmoil of injuries and suspensions that has followed UNC all season made the trip to Nashville as well. Senior linebacker Bruce Carter and senior offensive lineman Alan Pelc will not play due to injury, and it was announced this week that senior running back Anthony Elzy, who had performed so admirably after the season-ending injury to Johnny White, is suspended for the bowl game for academic issues. Carolina is down to two healthy running backs, Shaun Draughn and Hunter Chuck Norris Furr.

Senior quarterback T. J. Yates will try to close out a record-setting senior season with a bowl win for the first time since 2001. With the running backs depleted yet again, it may be up to Yates to carry his team offensively once more.

Tennessee got off to a slow start under first-year coach Derek Dooley but won its last four games to become bowl eligible, although the Vols only beat one team with a winning record, and that was a 6-5 FCS team.  UT helped turn their season in November on the arm of freshman quarterback Tyler Bray, who threw for almost 250 yards per game.

Bowl officials in Nashville have to be thrilled as the game is “sold out” (for what this really means in bowl terms, you should really read Death to the BCS, but I digress) as it is a relatively short drive for UNC fans and will be a de facto home game for Tennessee. Carolina is 0-2 under Butch Davis in bowls, but this should be the year he breaks through as even a depleted UNC team should be enough to handle the Vols.

UNC 27, Tennessee 17

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94 comments to Music City Bowl: UNC vs. Tennessee

  • nativeheel

    I hope you are right! We have a great many walking wounded and non-playing wounded. It will be in the hands of T.J. and his receivers to come thru for us….again!
    Go Heels!!

  • PRGuy

    I really want this win for the seniors, for all the players who did nothing wrong and stepped up on the field, and for recruiting. Go Heels!

  • SouthernTarHeel

    haha I love the alternate title

  • OldSchool

    Off topic, but I just hate to listen to NC State coach Tom O’Brien on radio or tv. He just seems like a jerk. Anyone else get the same feeling, or is that just my Tarheel bias kicking in?

  • No, that is how he comes off.

  • Andy In Omaha

    This should be a win for the Heels. Should be. Tennessee had a very average (to be polite) schedule and struggled to do much against FBS teams. It’s safe to say that this will be one of the better defenses Bray will see all season, but we know how much Withers loves to amplify an opposing QB’s abilities. Not having Carter will be huge, but it’s not like Withers necessarily liked to dial up pressure or anything.
    Tennessee’s 54th in the nation in allowing 24 points per game, but once again, that was against a suspect schedule. Yates, Jones and Elzy….I mean Draughn/Furr should play huge.
    Trying to be optimistic here, but I can’t see the Heels winning this one. With this being a home game for the Vols, and keeping in mind we still have Withers and Butch Davis, I see a letdown to end a disappointing season as we drop a game to another inferior team.

  • Heel To The End

    super. Kansas St is looking to force OT.

    wow. a BOWL game and the refs call excessive celebration for dropping the ball after the player scores and making one salute to the back of the end zone.
    15 yds added to the needed tying XP.
    not in any opposing player’s face. no cartwheels or jumps.
    thats…kinda crap.

  • Heel To The End

    i did not need a recap of our problems.

    ummm…whats with the mismatching helmets and jerseys for Tennessee? Orange is hideous enough and you go with conflicting oranges?

  • Heel To The End


  • Heel To The End

    *hears a pin drop on the forum*

    ah, hell. thats broken. and i’m not watching it again, ESPN. good grief.

  • Yeah, that’s broken. Hope his NFL career is not damaged by it.

  • Heel To The End

    Gift interception thrown up and Searcy mistimes it by 20 minutes.
    Extends the drive, touchdown.
    saluting in the end zone was a 15 yarder an hour ago in NYC. good job, NCAA.

    28:30 until 2011.

  • Heel To The End

    psssst, Withers. they have a tight end.

  • Heel To The End

    i think we all were betting the house that Tennessee would score after that fair catch interference penalty.
    and we all won that bet.

    have we attempted a pass of over 5 yards?

    to say Yates is rusty is an insult to rust.

    well, that gets you back to where you were.

    Doc, can you ck real quick on whether that was Yates’ first career td when he runs to his left?
    thanks, bud.

  • Heel To The End

    thank YOU, Mark May for pointing out the crap call in the K St game and comparing it to the non-calls in our game.
    and how bout this…BOTH crews were Big Ten.
    NCAA cant even blame it on different conferences.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    really missing Deunta Williams…really.

    If the Heels can keep creating turnovers, but actually capitalize on them, should be a W.

    Also, Withers should blitz the gangly true Frosh at QB for Tennessee…giving him time ain’t working.

    My cynical side says:

    in 2008 we lost the bowl game by 1 point
    in 2009 we lost the bowl game by 2 points.
    in 2010..prove me wrong and send Yates out a winner, which he richly deserves.

  • chaucer1350

    Quick poll:

    So which is worse…

    1 - throwing the ball to a receiver 3 yards on the wrong side of the sticks, heading in the wrong direction, on 3rd and 7…


    2 — Having a play designed where a receiver’s running in the wrong direction on 3rd and 7?

    And before someone jumps in and explains that it was just something that happened on that play, it happens at least once a game.

    Go Heels. UT’s been getting better all season. This would be a great win for them.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    how can this defense be so solid on 1st and 2nd down, and so horrible on 3rd down?

    I can predict it nearly every time:

    UNC opponent has 3rd and X to go.
    UNC defense gives up X + 1 yards.

    already happened 3 times on this drive.

    maddening. They should just play like it’s 2nd down all the time!

  • Heel To The End

    I SHOULD *click* this game right there. Truly truly awful defensive calls and execution. 9 yd cushions. Blitz on 2nd down but not 3rd. 3rd and 18 conversion? Beyond pathetic.
    Even a td drive here is not going to make me jump out of my seat.

    Ah, super, penalty.
    Earlier, Ingersoll’s 2nd false start. Fifth yr senior. Is it that hard to be in sync with Yates after this many starts?

  • Heel To The End

    Goodbye, 2010. You will not be missed.

    Fitting it ends with a below average performance. The perfect combination of poor execution and mystifying play calls by both coordinators.
    An incredibly winnable game bungled away.

  • 40yrheel

    so glad that yates is finally gone. the slowest decision making qb i think i’ve ever seen. hopefully shoop is gone too, god he sucks.

  • carolinablue74

    Bye bye Yates, glad to see you go.

  • I would like to thank Marvin and Quinn for a great Music Bowl, the only thing better will be the hammer falling on our program next near. It’ll be just like Christmas 2010, all over again. Really from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

    Thanks for a good season by all the players that did it the right way. And a special thank you to the NCAA and their outrageous note of outrage regarding special treatment of certain teams.

  • 40yrheel

    way to go butch, cheat and lose 3 straight bowls. nice.

  • And when we finally have a good QB, will the coaches utilize it with dynamic play calls rather than passes in the flat. Like the one just now with no time outs into the middle of the field and a few seconds left. Hmmmm?

  • scl11

    WOW, any questions about the coaching ability of this staff. That was pathetic……

  • Heel To The End

    They somehow managed to squeeze in more stupid.
    Where is the coach explaining that we’re going to spike the ball?
    Hard to feel bad when you just aren’t smart.

  • Worst officiating ever, no late hit, no concept of what football should be. The field goal team running onto the field before the spike…that is insanity.

  • 40yrheel

    my god. worst. coaching. job. ever.

  • We’re a Chinese fire drill and we get a gift. Can you believe it?

  • I have no words for what I just saw.

  • More luck than coaching

  • 52bgJ

    never fear-Teflon Butch will prevail

    if the hit on Harrellson doesn’t merit ejection, I don’t know what would.

  • They need a TD. I don’t trust our D to hold them.

  • faustus1500

    Are you kidding me?!!!

  • HvilleHeel

    I can’t take this.

  • Silent Sam

    I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’m so daggum happy this football season (well, at least for us) is over I can’t stand it. The season from h-e-double hockey sticks is finally history.

  • HvilleHeel

    I’d like to punch Bray in the face every time he celebrates.

  • Can you at least force a FG?

  • 52bgJ


    how many peeps cut away before this was over?

    How bout them Vols, lol?

  • HvilleHeel


  • Probably didn’t deserve to win that but probably didn’t deserve some of the crap that happened this season too. Call it even.

  • PRGuy

    Yeah, baby! Somebody come up with a nickname for this game, quick. Music City Miracle has already been taken. So happy for the Heels!

  • Its about time that some outrageous luck came the Heels’ way. Now, maybe the B-ball team will find some also.

  • I don’t think we deserved some of the crap that happened in this game. Amazing when you consider who we lost during the game. Paige-Moss, Williams - that is insane. The lack of discipline though was just insane.

    I will take credit for the win however as I stayed home. I accept cash and checks, thank you.

  • nativeheel

    Thank God for TJ and Barth. Some breaks finally came our way!

  • polonium

    That was unbearable to watch. What an unbelievable finish. Nevertheless, a nice end to a rough year. Finally a bit of luck has come our way. GO HEELS!!

  • The lack of discipline was an issue last year during the bowl game. Makes me wonder if these guys get unfocused with the long break. Way too many false starts.

  • gregrustin

    what a year…omfreakingg. thanks TJ for the wild ride. you deserved some Karma. thanks shaun draughn for being a tailback when you were a defensive back. lets savor this sweetness.

  • Andy In Omaha

    I have no idea what the hell just happened….did we win? Or was this all a Jack Daniels-induced dream?

  • 52bgJ

    ^it must seem like a nightmare for Vol fans…and ABC’ers

  • Heel To The End

    i just heard Butch absolutely unLOAD a huge huge scream of “How bout those Heeeeels?!?!?” after accepting the trophy.

    if the team is that happy, then i’m happy for them.
    i dont see myself doing much bragging about this one myself, tho.
    i wouldve been tempted to kneel down and not even try that end of regulation FG. it felt THAT ugly and crazy.

    that was a poorly performed game by everyone in the stadium not named Casey Barth.
    the fans, the refs, the players and coaches…not at all good. the refs probably lead that list. a double-handed throat slit gesture by Bray was the 20th Tennessee uncalled unsportsmanlike one of the game. meanwhile, OL holding was a free pass for 60+ minutes. Big Ten should issue an apology and suspend at least 2 crews today.

  • Andy In Omaha

    Let me add on, please….I’m glad for TJ, Draughn, and the rest of the seniors. I’m glad for the players that stuck to the rules, and that learned their lesson from their mistakes. I’m glad for the 50 fans that showed up tonight.
    Thanks for the memories, guys. You deserve to celebrate the win!

  • OldSchool

    Tennessee’s classless quarterback got just what he deserved at the end. His neck slicing gestures were sickening. Grow up kid, and here’s a towel to dry your tears.

  • HeelYeah

    My wife and I had tickets to the game and a room in downtown Nashville. However, just like the UNC season, my plans were derailed before they got started. Monday I came down with strep and the flu, so no game for me. However, just like UNC’s season, I guess things worked out somewhat in the end with the crazy win. I would have loved to be at LP Field watching all those pissed UT fans file out. Go Heels, I’m darn proud of you guys (those who played it the right way).

    Now on to 2011 and a new era in UNC athletic success!

  • gregrustin

    i am as giddy as a school gal……..

    i cant stop smilin

  • rathskellar68

    To call a run with 16 seconds left and no timeouts was the most stupid coaching decision I have ever seen. Butch was lucky beyond words to get away with it.

    This is darn near an impossible game to assess. It was, obviously, one of the most freakish ever. I actually do think we deserved to win, because we made a number of huge plays in the clutch — maybe one more than the number of huge plays we blew.

    Thank you Casey, and thank you TJ. Also, I agree that Bray is insufferable (though really good for a freshman). His shellshocked face as the game ended reminded me of the old saying, “Pride cometh before the fall.”

    They should fire Butch forthwith for being so dumb, but, on the other hand, they should keep him for being so lucky.

  • i’ve never particularly cared for Tennessee football all that much. Didn’t really like them, but definitely didn’t hate them… until tonight. Bray’s throat slash and all that cocky celebration and BS I saw going on throughout the game was a poor Wolfpack imitation. I hope that ‘cry Brayby’ thinks twice about doing that again. Otherwise, really happy Butch and this 2010 team gets to celebrate tonight for all they’ve been through this year

  • Heel To The End

    so is this an instant ESPN Classic?

    or has the game film already spontaneously combusted?

  • gregrustin

    we’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

  • Heel To The End

    i’ll add gameballs to Quan, who had a monster game, and to Paige-Moss who took a Coples helmet dead in the face and later blocked that PAT.

    what a ridiculous game.

  • The nice thing about winning the last game of the season(especially in a bowl or the NCAA title game) is it does not matter how you played as long as you won.

  • 52bgJ

    “so is this an instant ESPN Classic?”

    yeah, Classic like one of those Time-Life “Mellow-Gold” CD offers

  • Andy In Omaha

    HTTE, if this is a classic, I’d hate to see what a bad game is….

  • Heel To The End

    so whats the nickname for this one?

    The Spike?

    The Immaculate Debacle?

    in a game where there were dubious made and unmade intentional grounding calls, it came down to the the most intentional of all groundings, the spike to stop the clock. (which is why i’ve never understood the rule. how is a spike not 100% intentional. not out of the pocket, not past the line, and with no receiver)

  • gregrustin

    “this is Madness………(((((((((THIS IS UNC))))))))))

  • Andy In Omaha

    Don’t know if you guys frequent ESPN’s website, but there are over 4000 comments on the game…..most of them from whiny Vols fans who misread (if they can read at all) the 10 second runoff rule, if it’s in college football at all.

  • There is no 10 second runoff rule in college football. Perhaps there should be because it is a free timeout you can use to stop the clock. The correct call was made across the board there so whine all you want, the rules were followed.

  • Stratplans

    Props to the players for stepping up and sticking with it. This season could have easily been over before it started.

  • Heel To The End

    ^^that was the first thing i wondered about. and what if TJ had just thrown up his hands in disgust instead of spiking it when he saw half the sideline on the field. game over, time expired.

  • Andy In Omaha

    Refs winning the game for UNC is the main theme on the message boards…all Tennessee had to do in the fourth quarter after Jones dropped the best pass TJ Yates threw all night was pick up ONE first down and they could have been celebrating.

  • Stratplans

    @Andy in Omaha: Saw the comments on espn.com. Three personal fouls in 30 seconds and a fourth that wasn’t called. And they were robbed?

  • 52bgJ

    bittersweet ending to the strangest year in UNC sports I can remember. I find myself happy for the ones who tried to do it right, and happy that BD seems to embrace his “Heel-ness”, but Good Lord how I was looking forward to seeing what Robert Quinn could wreak with the rest of this defense intact. Searcy was a HUGE dis-appointment this season (as was most of the defensive backfield), all the other stuff not-withstanding. Like THF said, if this strange “victory” is what the Heels sports community needed, then so be it.

  • Heel To The End

    Tennessee fans will be cussing about this one to their grandchildren, no doubt.
    even tho theyll be wrong.

    how does NOT playing them the next two yrs look now?

    it was great to see state 100m champ Hunter Furr get out there to spell Draughn for a play here and there.
    whats that? oh.

  • Andy In Omaha

    Not only just pick up the first down, but just make the PAT!!!!
    Good Lord, I hate Tennessee now!

  • Silent Sam

    Guilty as charged — didn’t watch the last few seconds of regulation. However, I DID watch the last 17 seconds of the game when the Heels were down by 8 with 17 seconds left. So, I can’t believe I didn’t this time — but I didn’t. OK, I learned a lesson . . . hopefully for the last time!

  • Heel To The End

    ^^AND their mismatched ugly orange unis. what the hell WAS that?

  • Stratplans

    And just make a tackle instead of going for a punishing hit.

  • Andy In Omaha

    On another note, I think Bray made Dook basketball players look pretty classy……

  • Heel To The End

    Tennessee coach bemoaning a lack of 10 second runoff rule.
    maybe thats why his team makes throatcutting gestures and spears ball carriers.
    despite his Pat Boone look, he’s a bit of a poor sport. there was certainly plenty that both teams couldve done differently the whole game.

  • Stratplans

    Send him to Wojo over the summer - he’ll teach him some new tricks.

    But I don’t think anyone at Dook would ever say “we didn’t execute the pass game…”

  • Andy In Omaha

    Dooley should bemoan his classless QB, his defense spearing players, an overlooked late hits, overlooked holding calls, and his team choking when it counts.

  • Andy In Omaha

    Will there be a “beyond the box” or “good, bad, and ugly” followup on this classic? =)

  • Heel To The End

    way beyond the box.

    UNC football quote of the year: “The game is over.” - Dennis Lipski, referee @ Music City Bowl.

    and, it wasnt just our seniors that made mistakes. the dude who threw his helmet was a senior.

  • Doc

    Andy, there will be a GBU on this game - it may take a while to, uh, digest what exactly went down.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    so glad I was (just so barely) thankfully wrong about losing by 3 in this here bowl game…

  • I think Doc is going to need to invent a new category beyond Ugly for that running play call there at the end.

  • chapelhillfan

    Where do you begin with this game?

    Bray for Tenn is one of the cockiest and classless football players I’ve ever seen. Karma is a bitch though and tonight she decided he would blow the game with a Int and then cry on the sidelines on national title. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving a$$hole.

    Simply put, Davis and Shoop should be fired for the running play and clock mismanagement. And I’m not kidding that much. I was screaming for their heads until the one second was put back on the clock. And, frankly, justice would have made Barth miss that kick. Our coaching staff was horrible and we did nor deserve to get to OT.

    The refs were horrible. Can’t say much more than that. How do you miss the late hit at the end or Bray’s throat slashing?

    Yates seemed brain-dead on many plays when he came to knowing when to throw the ball. Inexcusable.

    All in all though, good win. The program deserved it. The seniors deserved it. (Butch did not.). And Tenn sucks and always deserves heartbreak.

  • Heel To The End

    Did it really happen?