Christopher Smith

Renner A Surprise No-Start For UNC

Created on Oct. 06, 2013 5:19 PM EST

Bryn Renner, a pro prospect considered one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC, did not start Saturday for North Carolina.

Renner injured his foot in a loss to East Carolina on Sept. 28. He spent part of the week wearing a boot on his left foot, but all indications pointed to him playing against Virginia Tech and he did practice.

Tar Heels fans instead caught a glimpse of the future in sophomore Marquise Williams. The dual-threat quarterback completed 65.7 percent of his passes for a respectable 7.9 yards per attempt against a very good defense, and led UNC with 56 rushing yards, but misfired on two throws that Virginia Tech intercepted. Williams' second interception came inside the red zone with the Tar Heels driving, down 21-10 in the fourth quarter.

It wasn't a good week for Renner, whose status is uncertain for Saturday's game against No. 13 Miami. A few days before the game, the Charlotte Observer penned the headline "UNC offensive coordinator blames sweat for QB Bryn Renner's bad throws."

North Carolina (1-4, 0-2) has suffered in part due to Renner's downturn. The quarterback's completion percentage is down more than five percent to 59.9. His touchdown-to-interception ratio and yards per attempt both are down from last season.

"He sweats so bad — he really does," North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson told the Charlotte Observer. "His hands and arms will be dripping wet, and he missed a series where he didn't get a towel or something, or it got ripped off. ... He's just got to be smart about it. He knows that it's never stopped.

"We get out of the meeting room, he's sweating. So we just have to put another wrist band on, put another towel, and keep it dry as best we can and then let it rip."

North Carolina needs Renner to control his sweat and get healthy fast. The Tar Heels went 8-4 in Larry Fedora's first season and already have matched their loss total from 2012. Miami will be a heavy favorite Saturday. Lose to the Hurricanes and UNC must win five of its last six to avoid a losing season.

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