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THB’s football uniform challenge First Round: No. 6 vs. No. 11

These uniforms from different generations have similar styles except for the helmets.

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

Once again, the higher ranked uniform took the victory, as Mack Brown’s blue pants on the away uniform prevailed over the special edition chromed helmet from 2014. Check out the updated bracket (click to enlarge):

This week, a couple of home uniforms with classic colors battle to advance to the quarterfinals.

6. 2004-2011 home blue with blue helmet

Hurricanes v Tar Heels
Chad Scott carries the ball versus Miami
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

These uniforms nearly eliminated the navy stripes and shadowing from the uniform set. The wide striping and number shadows from the late 1990s and early 2000s were gone, as were all the stripes on the pants.

The reduction of the navy stripes to just the outline of the numbers and letters and the helmet, along with the wide white collar, helped to emphasize the two primary colors. This set is a clear transition from the 1990s-style features to a less-busy uniform.

A moment in this uniform

Just by looking at the results, the 2004 season was average, as the 6-6 record shows. However, there were a few moments that season that are firmly entrenched in Carolina lore. One of those occurred on the last Saturday evening in October.

A bye week separated a loss to Urban Meyer’s undefeated Utah squad in Salt Lake City and the Tar Heels hosting the third-ranked Miami Hurricanes. It was Miami’s first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the ‘Canes were undefeated heading to homecoming in Chapel Hill.

The North Carolina Tar Heels started the scoring in this primetime showdown, with Mike Mason bringing in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Darian Durant less than three minutes into the game. Miami responded, with two touchdown passes of their own to move head 14-7 after the first.

In the second, senior running back Chad Scott tied the game on a 14-yard run. It was Scott’s first start of his career. During the second quarter, Scott had a 40-yard carry, which was the longest of his career. With about three minutes left in the half, Durant connected with Scott Brumett on a 18-yard pass to push Carolina to a 21-14 lead at the half.

Miami tied the game late in the third, and Carolina responded a few possessions later in the fourth on another Scott rushing touchdown. Devin Hester scored for Miami with 2:25 left to tie the game at 28.

On the final possession of the game, the Tar Heels were able to drive into Miami territory. On a fourth-and-inches with four ticks on the clock, well. . . roll that beautiful Barth footage:

11. 1963-1966 blue-on-white with white helmet

1965 Media Guide featuring the uniforms
Image used with permission from the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill

Prior to this uniform set, the interlocking NC had not been seen on the uniform since the usage of numbers on jerseys. The 19th century and early 20th century football teams used the interlocking NC on the chest of the jersey.

The advent of the modern-style helmet provided both plain and designed helmets, with the most notable being the ram horns on the 1953 helmets. The uniform set that debuted in 1963 marked the return of the interlocking NC on the uniform. The blue NC was on a white helmet with a blue stripe down the middle with gray facemasks.

Once again, balance and simplicity goes a long way in these uniforms. The blue stripe on a white field on the helmet matches the blue stripe on the white pants. Alternating white, blue, and white in the three main sections of the uniform gives the uniform great balance.

A moment in this uniform

By 1963, the North Carolina Tar Heels had not crept above .500 since the 1958 season. Carolina was also in the midst of a 13-year bowl drought, as their last postseason appearance was in the 1950 Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Heels turned it around in 1963, dropping just one conference game to win the ACC and finished the regular season with an 8-2 record. Carolina was invited to the Gator Bowl in a matchup against Air Force.

UNC started the scoring in the first quarter on a Ken Willard 1-yard run on a 4th-and-goal. The junior running back had 18 carries for 94 yards that day, leading all rushers. In the second quarter, UNC senior quarterback Junior Edge scored on a 6-yard run, and senior wide end Joe Robinson brought down a 5-yard pass from junior quarterback Gary Black to make it a 20-0 Carolina lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Carolina fullback Eddie Kesler dove-in on a 1-yard run for the score. In the fourth, Black ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Carolina won 35-0 and racked up 370 yards of offense against Air Force and forced seven turnovers (five interceptions and two fumbles).

Check out the highlights from the 1963 Gator Bowl, via UNC Athletics:

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

  • 57%
    6. 2004-2011 home blue with blue helmet
    (34 votes)
  • 42%
    11. 1963-1966 blue-on-white with white helmet
    (25 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now