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THB’s football uniform challenge Quarterfinals: No. 3 vs. No. 6

Which modern home uniform makes it to the semifinals?

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

In last week’s uniform battle, the votes were very close between the “Zero Dark Thursday” set and the “thick stripe” away unis until the all-black uniforms pulled away for the victory. With one uniform in the semifinals, here is a look at the updated bracket:

This week, two home uniforms from the last twenty years battle for the chance to advance to the semifinals.

No. 3: 2015-present blue-on-white with white helmet

ACC Championship - Clemson v North Carolina
Elijah Hood for the score
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The difference between these home uniforms and others since the 1960s is the white helmet. The white helmet was reintroduced to the uniform sets in 2012 after nearly 50 years. The “Targyle” uniform sets since 2015 have made great use of the white helmet in a couple different combinations

A moment in this uniform

The North Carolina Tar Heels made their first appearance in the ACC football championship game in 2015 and faced a tough assignment against the No. 1 Clemson Tigers. Carolina was riding a 11 game winning streak into Charlotte and climbed to No. 8 in the AP Poll.

On Clemson’s first possession, the Tigers drove down into Carolina territory, but Deshaun Watson was stopped on a key third down run and Clemson settled for a field goal attempt. However, the kicker missed and the game remained scoreless. On the next drive, UNC made it all the way to the Clemson seven before penalties forced the Tar Heels back. A Nick Weiler field goal gave Carolina an early 3-0 lead.

Clemson answered with a masterful 75-yard drive to move ahead 7-3. After trading punts, Carolina started their next drive on the Clemson 46-yard line after a near fumble by Ryan Switzer on the punt return. On the next play, a scrambling Marquise Williams found T.J. Logan in the flats and Logan made the most of a broken play. Aided by key blocks from Quinshad Davis and Mack Hollins, Logan took the reception 46 yards for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, UNC led 9-7 and carried that lead to the end of the quarter.

After a couple more punts, Clemson went back ahead on a 12 play, 96-yard drive. Both teams stalled on offense for the next couple possessions before UNC thwarted a fake punt attempt by Clemson. The Carolina drive started on Clemson’s 34. A personal foul moved the Heels up to the 19, and four plays later Williams found Switzer for the touchdown. UNC held a 16-14 lead until two seconds left in the half. Watson capped off the two-minute drill for the Tigers with a touchdown pass to give Clemson a 21-16 halftime lead.

Carolina had the first possession of the second half, and the Tar Heels were marching down the field. The drive was kept alive by a 25-yard receptions by Hollins on 3rd and 11 to move the Tar Heels into the red zone. However, on the next play, a tipped ball landed into the hands of a Tigers defender to end the drive. Clemson started on their own three and marked 97 yards on a 13-play drive to move ahead 28-16. On the UNC drive, a fake punt attempt allowed for the Tigers to start on the Carolina 36-yard line. Two plays later, in what seemed to be the nail in the coffin for the Heels, a 35-yard touchdown pass put Clemson ahead 35-16.

Two drives later, Nazair Jones tipped a pass and intercepted it for the Heels and Carolina started their own drive with a short field. Williams had a 16-yard run on first down, and two plays later connected with Davis on a 23-yard pass to get UNC close to the goal line. On 3rd and goal, Williams scored on the bootleg to cut the Clemson lead to 35-23.

However, Clemson responded on a 80-yard drive that ate up over five minutes of clock to extend the lead again to 42-23. On Carolina’s next possession, the Heels went 74 yards in just five plays thanks to a 40-yard pass to Davis and a 27-yard pass to Brandon Fritts. Elijah Hood capped off the drive with a two-yard run (pictured above) to pull UNC to 42-30.

The Tar Heel defense forced a three and out on the next Tigers possession to get the ball back with plenty of time in the fourth. Carolina made it into Clemson territory when a Williams sack and fumble got the ball back to the Tigers. On that drive, Clemson used about four and a half minutes of game clock and hit a 27-yard field goal for their last score of the game.

A squib kick and a personal foul later, the Tar Heels started their drive on the Clemson 49 with 2:14 to play. Carolina faced a fourth and six when Williams scrambled for a 28-yard run to move UNC into the red zone. Williams connected with Switzer on a comeback route and made the defender miss for a 17-yard score.

With Carolina down eight, the Tar Heels lined up for the onside kick and were flagged for offsides despite video evidence to the contrary. The ruling was reviewed and not overturned. Clemson recovered and held on for the 45-37 victory.

You check out the game in its entirety thanks to the ACC Digital Network:

6. 2004-2011 home blue with blue helmet

Georgia Tech v UNC
Joe Dailey and the 2006 Tar Heels
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The uniforms, marked by the reduction in navy stripes and shadows, accentuated Carolina Blue and white throughout the set.

A moment in this uniform

There were hard times in Kenan Memorial Stadium in 2006. After a 23-0 loss against Virginia, it was announced Coach John Bunting would be relieved of his duties at the conclusion of the season. Heading into the final two games of the season against rivals NC State and Duke, the Tar Heels lone win was against FCS Furman.

On the Monday of the game week against NC State, Athletics Director Dick Baddour announced the hiring of Butch Davis as the next head coach of the Tar Heels. With his replacement in the stands for his final home game, Bunting sought to end his career at Carolina with wins against their bitter rivals.

However, the game did not start as planned for Carolina. A couple of big runs by running back Ronnie McGill and a 26-yard Joe Dailey pass to Brandon Tate had UNC just outside of the Wolfpack red zone. On the next play, a McGill fumble was recovered by NCSU. The Carolina defense held, forcing a three and out for NC State.

On the next drive, McGill ran on nine of the 11 plays, capping the five minute possession off with a touchdown. With the Tar Heels up 7-0, another NCSU three and out led to a Carolina drive that ended up at the Wolfpack goal line. However, their defense held and forced a chip shot field goal from Connor Barth. At the end of the first, the Tar Heels led 10-0.

NC State’s subsequent drive ended in an interception, one of two on the day and the first of five turnovers for the Wolfpack. However, Carolina could not take advantage and concluded their possession on a punt. NC State added two field goals in the second quarter, including one as time expired, to give Carolina a 10-6 lead at the half.

The Wolfpack started the second half with a punt and Tar Heels took advantage. Barth hit a career-long 54-yard field goal to extend the Carolina lead to 13-6. On the next Carolina possession, Barth hit another field goal, this one from 37-yards, to push the lead to 10 at the end of the third quarter.

The next NCSU drive lasted nearly six minutes and ended with a field goal. State’s final score of the day narrowed the Carolina lead to 16-9. The final three possessions for NC State all ended in turnovers. After a UNC punt, Quinton Person picked off the Wolfpack pass. Another Carolina punt allowed State another chance with three minutes left in the game. Melik Brown sacked the NCSU quarterback inside their own five. The quarterback fumbled, and Brian Rackley scooped and scored to put Carolina ahead 23-9. With less than two minutes left, State drove down the field and reached the red zone. Kareen Taylor picked off the State pass at the goal line to seal the Carolina Victory in Bunting’s final home game.

It was NC State’s third straight loss to Carolina, and eight days later after a home loss to East Caroina, NCSU head coach Chuck Amato was fired. Bunting and Amato’s ACC head coaching careers nearly coincided identically, with Amato’s first season in 2000 and Bunting’s in 2001. It was truly the end of an interesting era in the Carolina-State rivalry. Bunting’s record against Amato and NC State was 4-2.

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

  • 88%
    No. 3: 2015-present blue-on-white with white helmet
    (37 votes)
  • 11%
    6. 2004-2011 home blue with blue helmet
    (5 votes)
42 votes total Vote Now