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2008 North Carolina Tar Heels football team


2008 North Carolina Tar Heels football team

2008 North Carolina Tar Heels football
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal
2008 record 0–5, 8[1] wins vacated (0–4 ACC, 4 wins vacated)
Head coach Butch Davis
Offensive coordinator John Shoop
Offensive scheme Pro style
Defensive coordinator Everett Withers
Base defense 4-3
Home stadium Kenan Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 60,000)
2008 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Boston College xy   5 3         9 5  
#21 Florida State x   5 3         9 4  
Maryland   4 4         8 5  
Wake Forest   4 4         8 5  
Clemson   4 4         7 6  
NC State   4 4         6 7  
#15 Virginia Tech xy   5 3         10 4  
#22 Georgia Tech x   5 3         9 4  
North Carolina   0 4         0 5  
Miami   4 4         7 6  
Virginia   3 5         5 7  
Duke   1 7         4 8  

Championship: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 12
† – BCS representative as conference champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
  • North Carolina vacated 8 wins, including 4 ACC wins
    Rankings from AP Poll

The 2008 North Carolina Tar Heels football team represented the University of North Carolina in the 2008 college football season. The Tar Heels played their home games at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina competed in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and was led by second year coach Butch Davis. The Tar Heels began their season on August 30 against McNeese State at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The team originally went 4–4 in conference play and 8–5 overall, but in 2011, North Carolina vacated all its wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.[1]


  • Recruiting 1
  • Coaching staff 2
  • Roster 3
  • Schedule 4
  • Game notes 5
    • McNeese State 5.1
    • Rutgers 5.2
  • References 6


The Tar Heels received 16 letters of intent on National Signing Day, February 6, 2008. One student athlete had already enrolled before National Signing Day and one signed several days later, making this class smaller and less-heralded than the previous year’s class.

Coaching staff

After signing a contract extension at the end of the 2007, Butch Davis enters his second season as head coach. Chuck Pagano resigned as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach to become an assistant coach with the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL. He was replaced by Minnesota assistant Everett Withers.[2][3]

Name Position [4] Seasons in Position
Butch Davis Head Coach 2nd
John Blake Associate Head Coach / Recruiting Coordinator / Defensive Line 2nd
Ken Browning Running Backs 15th
Jeff Connors Strength and Conditioning Coordinator 8th
Steve Hagen Tight Ends 2nd
John Lovett Special Teams Coordinator / Defensive Assistant 2nd
Sam Pittman Offensive Line 2nd
John Shoop Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks 2nd
Tommy Thigpen Linebackers 4th
Charlie Williams Wide Receivers 2nd
Everett Withers Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs 1st



Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 30 6:05 PM McNeese State* Kenan Memorial StadiumChapel Hill, NC ESPN360 W 35–27  (vacated) 58,000
September 11 7:45 PM at Rutgers* Rutgers StadiumPiscataway, NJ ESPN W 44–12  (vacated) 42,502
September 20 3:30 PM Virginia Tech Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC ABC/ESPN L 17–20   59,800
September 27 12:00 PM at Miami (FL) Dolphin StadiumMiami Gardens, FL ESPN2 W 28–24  (vacated) 35,830
October 4 7:00 PM #23 Connecticut* Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC ESPN2 W 38–12  (vacated) 59,500
October 11 3:30 PM Notre Dame* #22 Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC ABC/ESPN W 29–24  (vacated) 60,500
October 18 3:30 PM at Virginia #18 Scott StadiumCharlottesville, VA (South's Oldest Rivalry) ABC/ESPN2 L 13–16 OT  52,342
October 25 12:00 PM Boston College Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC Raycom W 45–24  (vacated) 48,000
November 8 12:00 PM #20  #19 Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC Raycom W 28–7  (vacated) 59,000
November 15 3:30 PM at Maryland #17 Byrd StadiumCollege Park, MD ABC/ESPN L 15–17   46,113
November 22 12:00 PM North Carolina State Kenan Memorial Stadium • Chapel Hill, NC Raycom L 10–41   60,000
November 29 3:30 PM at Duke Wallace Wade StadiumDurham, NC (Victory Bell Game) ESPNU W 28–20  (vacated) 30,322
December 27 1:00 PM vs. West Virginia* Bank of America StadiumCharlotte, NC (Meineke Car Care Bowl) ESPN L 30–31   73,712
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.

Did not play: Clemson, Florida State, and Wake Forest.[5] The spring football game is on March 28, 2009.[6]

Game notes

McNeese State

1 2 3 4 Total
McNeese State 0 14 6 7 27
North Carolina 7 7 7 14 35

Brandon Tate put on a dazzling one-man show, scoring on an 82-yard punt return and putting North Carolina ahead for good with a 57-yard TD catch to help the Tar Heels hold off McNeese State 35-27. Tate finished with a school-record 397 all-purpose yards for the Tar Heels, who showed little else in an unimpressive start to their second season under Butch Davis. In a game suspended nearly two hours due to weather, they blew a 14-0 first-half lead and had to rally from a third-quarter deficit against Football Championship Subdivision McNeese State, who outplayed the Heels much of the way. T.J. Yates had 221 passing yards and 2 TDs.[7]


1 2 3 4 Total
North Carolina 0 17 21 6 44
Rutgers 3 3 0 6 12

T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes and the Tar Heels won for the first time outside North Carolina since 2002, beating error-prone Rutgers 44-12 in a nationally televised game that pitted Butch Davis against his former pupil, Greg Schiano. Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate combined for 10 catches, 204 receiving yards, and 3 TDs as the Heels offense rolled over Rutgers. Carolina's defense generated 4 Rutgers turnovers (3 INTs and a fumble) and scored off of a 66 yard interception return by Bruce Carter.[8]


  1. ^ a b North Carolina has vacated all wins from the 2008 and 2009 football seasons: "North Carolina Response to Notice of NCAA Allegations". September 19, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Butch Davis Agrees To Contract Extension." Retrieved on January 28, 2008.
  3. ^ "Pagano Headed Back To NFL." Retrieved on February 12, 2008.
  4. ^ "North Carolina Coaching Staff." Retrieved on January 28, 2008.
  5. ^ "ACC Releases North Carolina's 2008 Football Schedule." Retrieved on February 12, 2008.
  6. ^ "Spring Football Showcase Set For March 28." Retrieved on February 9, 2009.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
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