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Unsung Foster adds consistency

By: Jesse Baumgartner, Sports Editor

Issue date: 9/6/07 Section: Sports After taking a big step during his sophomore season by reeling in 38 catches, Brooks Foster picked up right where he left off Saturday by snatching two touchdowns in a 37-14 North Carolina victory against James Madison.

While a lot of the hype from UNC receivers has gone to standout Hakeem Nicks, Foster has quickly emerged as a main target for newcomer T.J. Yates. And much of the Tar Heels' success will depend on Foster's ability to be consistent and take the defense's focus off of Nicks throughout the year.

"I think pretty much I try to be everything - I'm versatile," Foster said Monday.

"I can be strong when I want to be; I can be fast when I want to be, and I can be elusive. … I try to be different."

Speed is definitely a quality that Foster possesses, but who is faster - Foster or fellow receiver and return man Brandon Tate?

"The 40 time, I think I run a faster 40 time than he did," Foster said.

"But on the field he probably appears faster because I have long strides. I run very smooth."

ECU's defense a force to be reckoned with on Saturday

East Carolina caught the nation's attention on Sunday by going into an emotional Blacksburg, Va., and giving the then-No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies a tough time despite playing without their starting quarterback Rob Cass, who was charged with a DWI on Saturday.

Most impressive was the Pirate defensive front, which kept Hokie star running back Branden Ore to a mere 70 yards on 23 carries.

"They are good; they're very good," head coach Butch Davis said.

"Their front four. … They have depth, and they're big, and they're physical. They are very talented. Their linebackers are fast and athletic, and their corners have got a lot of speed."

Considering that UNC is operating with a freshman quarterback and a group of inexperienced running backs, Davis and offensive coordinator John Shoop figure to face a more difficult challenge this week.

"You can tell that those kids, they play defense the way defense should be played," Davis said.

Rice has surgery, Lenahan back on the practice field

Junior linebacker Chase Rice, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury against JMU, had surgery Wednesday morning.

"The feedback that I got was that it went very well," Davis said. "Fortunately like all surgeries today, you're in and out. It's almost like going to the grocery store."

Senior center Scott Lenahan was also injured Saturday, but he was back on the practice field Wednesday.

"He did some stuff today, and we were really encouraged," Davis said.



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.

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