CHAPEL HILL - North Carolina coach Larry Fedora knew what his player were capable of on the football field. Earlier this week, he learned a little bit about their acting skills, too.
After nearly two consecutive weeks without an off day, the Tar Heels took a break Tuesday night and held a skit night, as the coaching staff described it, that gave players a chance to imitate their coaches for laughs.
Its about those guys getting to blow off a little steam, getting to make fun of their coaches and, you know, just bonding as a team, Fedora said earlier this week. We [had] been going 12 straight days, theyve had coaches all over them, every day. And it gives them a chance to make fun of their coaches. So its a lot of fun for everybody.
UNC on Thursday posted a video of the festivities on the schools athletic department website. At one point, UNC tight end Eric Ebron did his best Fedora, complete with a can of the coachs favorite drink Red Bull.
They got me pretty good, Fedora said.
He brought the idea for skit night with him from Southern Miss, where he spent the previous four seasons as a head coach.
Ive been doing it for four years, yeah, Fedora said. The kids have a good time with it, you know. And then depending on whos skit was the first, thats who got to go to snack first. So everythings about a competition.
Sade a more confident kicker
RALEIGH - N.C. State coach Tom OBrien joked last summer that he didnt know if his new kicker, Niklas Sade, would know which direction to kick the ball at Carter-Finley Stadium.
As a true freshman, Sade settled any anxiety from his coach by hitting a 33-yard field goal for the Wolfpacks first three points of the season.
Sade, who played Wakefield High, was steady in his first college season. He made 11 of 16 field goals and 46 of 47 PATs.
Going into his second season, Sade feels more confident, as does his coach.
"Im a veteran now," Sade said. "Ive been through a season and I know what to expect. I trust myself more."
Sade (pronounced Say-dee) added about 20 pounds to his 6-3 frame. Hes up to 209 pounds, he said, which he believes will help him on longer field goal attempts.
Sade was 9 of 10 on field goals less than 40 yards and 2 of 6 from longer than 40 yards last season. Twice he made kicks of 45 yards.
He also had five touchbacks, in 70 kickoffs, a ratio which figures to improve greatly with the rule change in college football this season. Kickoffs will be 5 yards closer to the end zone this season, from the 35-yard line.
Sade said the added muscle will help him do "less work and generate more power" on longer kicks.
Already looking at Bull City Gridiron Classic
DURHAM - Even though the game wont be played until Sept. 15, the head coaches Duke and North Carolina Central came together Thursday afternoon for a luncheon celebrating the second contest between the two teams, named the Bull City Gridiron Classic.
In the first meeting, Sept. 26, 2009, Duke rolled to a 49-14 victory. The coaching staff at Central has since changed, and second-year head coach Henry Frazier III told the crowd that Duke might find that the little brother has gotten bigger, faster and stronger.
Cutcliffe took the opportunity to flash a bit of wit.
Little brotherIs he calling me old? Cutcliffe said before adding, My older brother was a defensive lineman at Florida, 6-foot-3, 290 pounds and I never whooped him.
On a more serious note, Cutcliffe did note that FCS teams around the country watch for opportunities to knock off BCS foes. Duke is no stranger to the concept either: During Cutcliffes four years, the Blue Devils are 3-2 against FCS opponents with season-opening losses to Richmond in 2009 and 2011.