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THB’s football uniform challenge Quarterfinals: No. 2 vs. No. 7

Next up, it’s Dooley’s home uniforms versus Fedora’s mono white set.

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

It was not even close last week. One of the current home sets, white-blue-white, advanced to the semifinals with one of the largest margins of victory so far in the uniform challenge. Take a look at the updated bracket (click to enlarge):

This week, different generations clash in a battle of a very popular uniform sets.

2. 1967-1977 home blue with blue helmet

Don McCauley
UNC great Don McCauley
Photo courtesy UNC Athletic Communications

The last uniform set with the interlocking NC on a field on the helmet, these jerseys brought Carolina football into the modern era.

A moment in this uniform

The 1970 season was the fourth under Coach Bill Dooley and the start of his most successful years at Carolina. Starting in 1970, Dooley led the North Carolina Tar Heels to six bowl games in eight seasons and three conference championships in that same time span.

It was also the senior season for running back Don McCauley (picture above), and what an autumn it would be for McCauley.

To start the season, Carolina beat Kentucky 20-10 to win their first opener since 1963. The next week, the Tar Heels hosted the Wolfpack in Kenan Memorial Stadium.

Dooley had never beaten NC State, and the Heels were on a three-game losing streak to the team from Raleigh.

It was a defensive battle that day in Chapel Hill. After a scoreless first quarter, Carolina got on the board with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Paul Miller to fullback Geof Hamlin. UNC missed the extra point and the Tar Heels took a 6-0 lead into the half.

After the half, once again, the teams went back-and-forth during a scoreless quarter. In the fourth quarter, Carolina scored twice to extend their lead. Johnny (as he was known then) Swofford scored on a 1-yard run and McCauley punched in a score from two yards.

Carolina beat NC State 19-0 that day. McCauley gained 171 yards on the ground that day. Reaching back to the 1969 season, that was his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing day. He would go on in the next game against Maryland to gain more than 100 yards, his eighth consecutive and a school record to this day.

The run defense for Carolina was excellent in the game against State, holding the Wolfpack to just 11 yards on the ground. They managed just 122 passing yards in the shutout.

It was one of many memorable performances for McCauley in the season he broke O.J. Simpson’s NCAA single-season rushing record and set the program single-season record that remains first in program history. Check out the profile on McCauley, and details about his record-setting year and the most memorable game of that 1970 season.

7. 2015-present all white “Stormtrooper”

North Carolina v Virginia Tech
M.J. Stewart (L) and Des Lawrence (R)
Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Although the white jersey and pants combo have been used for decades, the reintroduction of the white helmet added another monochromatic look for the Tar Heels.

A moment in this uniform

In November 2015, the Tar Heels traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia to face Frank Beamer in his last home game as head coach of Virginia Tech. For Carolina, they were focused on other items, including 10 consecutive wins and a Coastal Division crown.

On Carolina’s first possession of the game, a Marquise Williams pass to Austin Proehl on a 3rd and 13 kept the drive alive. Four plays later, Williams scored on an 18-yard play action keeper to put UNC ahead 7-0. At the end of the first, the Heels stuffed the Hokies on a 3rd and 1 from the Carolina 26 to force a field goal attempt. VT missed, and the score remained 7-0 after one quarter.

In the second quarter, the Hokie defense stood tall and forced a turnover and four punts from the Carolina offense. However, Virginia Tech could only muster a field goal, and UNC took a 7-3 lead into the locker room.

The Tar Heels opened the second half with the ball, but were unable to do anything. They forced a three and out from the Hokies, and on the botched snap, Bug Howard was able to block VT’s punt. On 3rd and 6 for the Tar Heels, an unsportsmanlike call on Virginia Tech gave Carolina the first down. On the ensuing play, Williams ran it down to the pylon, but was ruled out at the one. A missed pass interference call in the end zone forced UNC to kick a 20-yard field goal to put the Heels ahead 10-3.

On the subsequent possession, Virginia Tech marched 81 yards for a touchdown that knotted the game at 10. The third quarter ended with a VT fumble stripped and recovered by Nazair Jones, and a wild fourth quarter was ahead with the score even.

With a short field ahead, the Tar Heels sought to move 45 yards for a score. On 3rd and 9, Williams found Quinshad Davis for a 21-yard reception. On the next play, the seas parted down the middle for Elijah Hood and he scored on a 13-yard run to make it 17-10 UNC.

On the next drive, Virginia Tech threw a long pass down the sidelines that was tipped and then intercepted by Des Lawrence. Carolina then churned out a 12 play, 84-yard drive that ate up nearly five minutes of game clock. The key play was a four-yard run by Hood on an option from Williams on a 4th and 2 that kept the ball moving downfield. Hood capped off the drive with a seven-yard run to put the Heels ahead 24-10 with just under eight minutes in the game.

Virginia Tech’s next possession ended after eight plays on a M.J. Stewart interception deep in Carolina territory. With about five and a half minutes left and a two touchdown lead, it looked as though the Heels could make it to the finish line.

However, on the subsequent possession, Williams fumbled and VT recovered. The Hokies went 63 yards in a minute and a half to score to bring them within a touchdown.

Another Carolina fumble allowed Virginia Tech to start their next drive in UNC territory. On a 4th and 2 from the four, the Hokies completed a pass in the end zone and the game was tied at 24 with just over a minute to go. It seemed as though it would be a miraculous comeback for Beamer in his final home game.

In overtime, the Carolina defense was on the field first and they held Virginia Tech to three plays and a 41-yard field goal.

On the offense’s first play of overtime, Williams completed an 18-yard pass to Ryan Switzer to set up 1st and goal from the seven. On third and goal, Williams threw to the outside shoulder of Davis, and Quinshad came back to the ball and reeled in the game-winning touchdown.

Relive the Coastal Division winning, overtime thriller, 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.

Poll

Which uniform advances to the next round?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    2. 1967-1977 home blue with blue helmet
    (12 votes)
  • 83%
    7. 2015-present all white "Stormtrooper"
    (61 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now