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THB’s football uniform challenge First Round: No. 2 vs. No. 15

Mid-century versus modern in the next matchup

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

A couple of current uniform sets went head-to-head last week, and the timeless white-blue-white combination triumphed over the current all-black set. Here is a look at the updated bracket (click to enlarge):

In this week’s matchup, it is a generational clash as the home uniform during the mid-1960s to mid-1970s squares up against a blue and black set from 2013 and 2014.

2. 1967-1977 home blue with blue helmet

UNC great Mike Voight
Photo courtesy UNC Athletic Communications

People may be drawn to older uniforms because of their simplicity. But in the simpleness, there is often balance in the colors and patterns along with the ability to accentuate important details. This uniform set achieves those ends.

This uniform set debuted at the cusp of era of great running backs at Carolina. One of those greats, Mike Voight, is wearing the uniform above. The helmet and pants have balance, as the blue helmet has a white stripe, and the white pants have a blue stripe on the outside. The blue interlocking NC is contrasted by a white background oval, allowing it to pop on the blue helmet.

A moment in this uniform

The 1972 season was one of the best in program history. Coach Bill Dooley led the North Carolina Tar Heels to a 11-1 overall record, remaining undefeated in conference play to win the ACC title.

One of the most exciting games that season was when the Tar Heels hosted the Wolfpack in Kenan Memorial Stadium on September 23, 1972. At the end of the first half, NC State led 19-10 on two rushing touchdowns and an 80-yard punt return. Carolina converted on an Ellis Alexander 32-yard field goal and a passing touchdown at the goal line from Nick Vidnovic to Ken Taylor.

In the second half, UNC scored two consecutive touchdowns, a Billy Hite run, and another pass from Vidnovic to Taylor, to push ahead 24-19. State scored again on a rushing TD and a two-point conversion to move ahead 27-24. Another Alexander field goal knotted the game at 27, setting up a wild finish at Kenan.

Late in the fourth quarter, Carolina defensive end Gene Brown forced a fumble from the NCSU punter and the Heel recovered on the Wolfpack one-yard line. Hite punched in another touchdown with just 58 seconds in the game and Alexander’s extra point gave UNC the 34-27 advantage.

However, it was not over yet. State would score a touchdown in the closing seconds. Overtime would be many years away for FBS football, so the Wolfpack faced a tie with an extra point or a win with a successful two-point conversion. NC State went for it and UNC’s Terry Taylor sealed the 34-33 Carolina Victory that day by breaking up Dave Buckley’s pass.

15. 2013-2014 blue-on-blue with black helmet and blue interlocking NC

Belk Bowl - Cincinnati v North Carolina
T.J. Logan at the 2013 Belk Bowl
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As mentioned in the article describing the “Zero Dark Thursday” uniforms, black as a prominent color was a new addition to the football jersey palette during the redesign after the 2012 season. In the two-year reign of the modern set, “Tar Pit Black” was seen in each uniform, mostly in the numbers or striping.

These uniforms seem to be a precursor to the NFL’s color rush promotion for Thursday nights. The black helmet was used in a variety of uniform combinations, and in this particular set it adds some variety to the blue.

A moment in this uniform

The 2013 season was one of streaks. The Tar Heels dropped four straight after starting 1-1, then won five straight before coming up short in the regular season finale against the team from Durham. Carolina was invited to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte to finish their season against Cincinnati.

The UNC special teams were clicking that game. Carolina’s scores on special teams and a safety outscored the entire offensive output from the Bearcats. T.J. Logan scored on a 78-yard kick return on the ensuing play after the safety, Ryan Switzer scored on a 86-yard punt return, and Thomas Moore added a 40-yard field goal.

For Switzer, he tied a NCAA record for punt returns for a touchdown in a season. His score was his fifth punt return for a touchdown in 2013. He was named the Belk Bowl MVP.

Marquise Williams threw for 171 yards and a touchdown and added 46 yards on the ground. Logan led all rushers with 77 yards, while Romar Morris punched in two rushing touchdowns. Eric Ebron grabbed seven receptions for 78 yards to lead all receivers.

Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17 for its first bowl win since 2010. Check out the highlights from the 2013 Belk Bowl, via the ACC Digital Network:

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 next round?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    2. 1967-1977 home blue with blue helmet
    (40 votes)
  • 33%
    15. 2013-2014 blue-on-blue with black helmet and blue interlocking NC
    (20 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now