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Pitt Football

UNC Still Dealing With Suspensions as Pitt Visits



The North Carolina football team has dealt with significant personnel losses all season thanks to an offseason investigation that found that 13 players, including quarterback Chazz Surratt sold team-issued Air Jordan 3 sneakers for profit, a violation of NCAA rules.

According to the Raleigh News-Observer, the sneakers were sold for up to $2,500 per pair.

The players missing include Surratt, who was the favorite to be the Tar Heels’ starting quarterback, three defensive ends, including a pair of prospective starters and wide receiver Beau Corrales, an emerging slot option.

Head coach Larry Fedora didn’t want to use the absences as a reason for his team’s 0-2 start, but acknowledged the obvious talent disparity between some of the suspended players and those that have been filling in.

“We knew that those guys were going to be out for those games, so we made the adjustments that we felt like we needed to make,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily always mean that you may have somebody in a position that has the same talent level. So you had to adjust some of the things you’ve done. Those guys that have filled in in those roles are doing a good job”.

It’s forced a bunch of younger players into more prominent roles, which hasn’t always been a negative. Some players have taken to their increased roles in a way that wasn’t completely expected.

“I think a young guy like Dyami Brown who has gotten more reps than he probably would have at this point has done a really good job,” Fedora said. “I think Trey Morrison is another kid in the secondary, because he was forced into playing time, has played well up through two games. He’s going to continue to get better.”

Brown, another inside receiver, could be in line for a big game against Pitt’s safeties and linebackers with most of the team’s focus on talented outside receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams. After not playing against Cal in the opener, Brown had three catches for 24 yards against East Carolina.

Morrison has five tackles and a pass break-up in two games while playing as the team’s nickel back as a true freshman.

Other positions, like defensive end, have been harder hit. But on looking at the film, Pitt left tackle Stefano Millin didn’t see a big drop off.

“The twp ends they have now have really stepped up and played well for them,” he said. “It’s going to be a really big challenge for us this weekend.”

Here’s who will sit out for the Tar Heels this week when Pitt visits Chapel Hill for the Panthers first road trip of 2018:

QB Chazz Surratt

Surratt started seven games in 2017 and led the team with 1,342 passing yards. He passed for eight touchdowns compared to three interceptions and had a better passer rating (131.2)

DE Malik Carney

The leader of North Carolina’s defensive line a year ago, Carney was on preseason all-conference ballots after leading the Tar Heels with 5.5 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss as a redshirt junior in 2017.

WR Beau Corrales

Played in nine games a true freshman in 2017 and averaged 15.9 yards per catch. He caught two passes for 16 yards against Pitt last year. Was expected to contend for a starting role in 2018.

DE Tomon Fox

Appeared in all 12 games and made two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2017. He had a sack, three tackles and two hurries against Pitt. Was expected to start opposite Carney.

DE Tyrone Hopper

Played in nine games as a redshirt freshman, finishing with eight tackles and a sack. Was expected to be a rotation player in 2018.

LB Malik Robinson

Appeared in 11 games as a true freshman in 2017, primarily contributing on special teams.

OL Brian Anderson

Redshirted as a true freshman in 2017.

OL Quiron Johnson

Redshirted as a true freshman in 2017.

OL Jordan Tucker

Redshirted as a true freshman in 2017.

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