November 5, 2007

Yates carries heavy load

The criticism of UNC quarterback T.J. Yates is somewhat unwarranted and unrealistic if one looks at all that is required of a successful offense, Carolina coach Butch Davis said.

"We are asking an enormous amount from him," Davis said. "The supporting cast has got to help him out as much as possible - give him time to throw the ball so he's not throwing the ball under duress, so he's not getting hit.

"Running the football in the first quarter the way we did, we need to have games like that, not just quarters, not just spurts. That certainly will help him perform and play much better."

Yates completed 16 of 26 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in a 16-13 victory against Maryland, but he continues to take the brunt of the criticism for the problems this team is having. Critics point to the two interceptions he threw against the Terrapins, but Davis said he thinks Yates is doing a good job.

"It stands to reason there may be a little bit of shaky confidence," Davis said. "But I really think he's handled it very well. If you look at the two interceptions he threw, one ball was a deep-ball opportunity that was actually a really very good throw. They had excellent coverage. One guy is going to come down with it. Unfortunately, their guy came down with it."

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