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April 9, 2011Chapel Hill, N.C. - Playing for the first time as a starter, sophomore quarterback Bryn Renner completed 9 of 13 attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown in North Carolina's spring scrimmage on Saturday.
The controlled scrimmage consisted of approximately 50 plays and capped a day of events at Kenan Stadium that also included a Kids Zone and an autograph session with coaches and players.
"Bryn Renner showed a little bit some of the things today that excite us as a staff, the ability to extend plays, move around in the pocket, get outside the pocket, throw the ball," said UNC head coach Butch Davis.
"He's doing a lot of things well, but there are still a lot of things he's got to improve on."
Renner, who redshirted in 2009 and backed up record-setting senior T.J. Yates in 2010, was one of four quarterbacks to see action in front of 15,500 fans on an overcast day in Chapel Hill.
Not surprisingly, Renner connected most often with first-teamers Dwight Jones and Erik Highsmith.
Jones, one of the ACC's top returning wideouts, had five receptions for 56 yards, while Highsmith hauled in four for 67 yards, with most of that yardage coming on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Renner.
"I was a lot more nervous today because I was running with the ones and it was the first time Coach Shoop was in the (press) box," said Renner.
"I thought I did alright, but I know I've got a lot more to learn. I worked the ball to Dwight a lot today and he made me look good. He has the potential to be one of the best receivers in the country."
Junior Braden Hanson, sophomore A.J. Blue and freshman Marquise Williams also saw action at quarterback.
Williams scored on a 43-yard run and Hanson connected on three of his four attempts
Senior Ryan Houston started at tailback, and had just two carries for 22 yards.
Junior Hunter Furr and junior walk-on Matt Kolojejchick each had seven carries.
Defensively, All-America candidate Quinton Coples posted a team-high six tackles and was credited with one sack.
Sophomore safety Josh Hunter had four tackles, picked off one pass and nearly had another.
Carolina will hold its final spring practice Monday.
"We're not the finished product by any means, but one of the highlights from the spring has been the growth and development of the offensive line," said Coach Davis.
"It has a chance to be one of the strongest units on our football team. It's taken several years of good recruiting classes to get it where we want to be."
"On the flip side, I think defensive line is going to be a strong area of our defense," Davis added.
"We've got 6-8 guys that could go in the game and play well. Areas of concern are the depth in the secondary and at linebacker position."
UNC Spring Game Statistics
Bryn Renner - 9 of 13, 123 yards, 1 TD
Braden Hason - 3 of 4, 25 yards
A.J. Blue - 1 of 5, 10 yards
Marquise Williams - 1 of 2, 8 yards, I INT
Ryan Houston 2-22
Hunter Furr 7-11
Travis Riley 3-26
Marquise Williams 1-42
Jheranie Boyd 1-5
Matt Kolojejchick 7-28
Erik Highsmith 4-67, 1 TD
Dwight Jones 4-56
Christian Wilson 1-14
Reggie Wilkins 1-10
Kenny Owens 1-8
Matt Kolojejchick 1-6
Sean Tapley 1-5
Hunter Furr 1-0
Quinton Coples 5 tackles, 1 sack
Kareem Martin 4 tackles
Joshua Hunter 4 tackles, 1 INT
Matt Merletti 3 tackles
Pete Mangum 3 tackles
Tre Boston 3 tackles