There have been several things that have been impressive about UNC this season. That UNC is relevant in college football probably stands out the most. There is more. It is only year two under Butch Davis and the team that hadn't had a winning record since 2001, is 5-1 and ranked. That means in addition to the talent Davis has brought in by recruiting, he's also coached up a lot of players that went 3-9 in 2006 under John Bunting. Then there was the fact that despite the loss of starting QB T.J. Yates until at least mid-November, the Tar Heels kept winning. They even beat Notre Dame despite the loss of their best player, senior Brandon Tate, in the first quarter.
Now it looks like they will have to find a way to win without him for the rest of the season. Tate is out with a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. A brutal ending to a player who was the biggest playmaker in the ACC.
Losing Tate is a big blow to UNC. Not only was he their best and leading receiver, but he was also their kick and punt returner. In just the five games and one quarter he played, he had amassed 982 total yards. He also holds the NCAA record for most combined kick return yards with 3523.