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THB’s football uniform challenge semifinals: No. 1 vs. No. 4

Vote today for your choice to complete the championship matchup

This series will determine the ultimate UNC football uniform combination. Each week, your vote decides which set advances to the next round.

Half of the championship bout is set. Your votes pushed the third-ranked blue on white with white helmet set to the finals. This week, two eras of uniforms battle for the chance to play for the championship. Take a look at the updated bracket (click to enlarge):

1. 1979-1987 home blue with blue stair-stepped helmet

Kelvin Bryant
Kelvin Bryant
Photo courtesy UNC Athletic Communications

These uniforms were donned by some of the all-time great North Carolina Tar Heels, and some of the best teams in program history. The set, especially the helmets, are simply a classic 1980s look.

A moment in this uniform

Even with a loss in the final regular season game against Duke, Carolina had already wrapped up the conference title the week prior against Virginia. Maryland had just one loss in the ACC and it was to the Tar Heels.

However, on that Saturday in Chapel Hill, Amos Lawrence, Kelvin Bryant, and the high octane Tar Heel running attack would not be denied.

The first score of the day came from Lawrence on a 56-yard run. Later in the first, another drive ended on a 9-yard run from Bryant.

Lawrence Taylor and that tough Carolina defense wanted in on the action as well. After UNC was up 14-0, Duke’s quarterback was sacked in the end zone for a safety. It was Carolina’s second safety that season.

In the second quarter, Bryant punched in another touchdown to extend the UNC lead to 23-0. Duke finally responded with a touchdown pass to make the halftime score 23-7.

The Blue Devils were not done yet. Duke scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to bring the score to 23-21.

Near the close of the third quarter, the Tar Heels responded in kind. Quarterback Rod Elkins ran it in for a score to make it 30-21. In the fourth, running back Billy Johnson added a score to extend the lead to 16 once again. Lawrence punched it in for the last score of the day for a 44-21 final score.

Bryant finished with 199 yards rushing, while Lawrence had 143 yard on the ground. The 199 yards rushing against Duke by Bryant was at the time the most by a sophomore in program history.

The running back duo of Lawrence and Bryant each had more than 100 yards rushing five times during the 1980 season. After their performances against Duke, they were named co-National Players of the Week by the Associated Press.

4. 2013 all-black “Zero Dark Thursday”

Miami v North Carolina
T.J. Logan in 2013 versus Miami

In the second-ever Thursday night home game at Kenan, the Tar Heels debuted the all-black uniform that was a part of the “modernized” uniform set of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

A moment in this uniform

This particular uniform was only worn twice. The first was on Thursday, October 17, 2013 against Miami and the other was October 18, 2014 in a Saturday night game versus Georgia Tech.

You can read details about the Miami game or the Georgia Tech game by clicking on the links.

What do you like best about these uniforms? What special moments do you remember while these uniforms were on the gridiron?

Vote below for your favorite. The poll ends next Wednesday.


Which uniform advances to the championship?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    1. 1979-1987 home blue with blue stair-stepped helmet
    (37 votes)
  • 61%
    4. 2013 all-black "Zero Dark Thursday"
    (60 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now