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ELON COMING INTO ACC HOME OF THE TARHEELS
August 30, 2012By Cavalier Dave Forrester of Hugh M Cummings High School
CHAPEL HILL — Some of the most cherished successes as a football coach for Elon University’s Jason Swepson have come in Chapel Hill.
He certainly knows the way to Kenan Stadium.
For North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who has been on the job all of eight months, let’s just say he hasn’t gotten out much since arriving to redirect the scandal-ridden Tar Heels.
To Fedora’s credit, he has been consumed with all-things Tar Heels, and we know there have been plenty of areas to address on that front.
So we introduce yet another difference between the football programs at North Carolina and Elon with their kick-off just two days away.
Fedora has never been to Elon, certainly understandable. He admitted this week that he doesn’t even know where Elon is.
“Well, in North Carolina,” he said.
So at least we know Fedora hasn’t been snooping around at Elon’s open practices.
As for Swepson, he has been accustomed to paying attention to the Tar Heels — on game days and on the recruiting trail.
“I’m not used to playing them this early in the year,” he said.
That’s because as an assistant coach at North Carolina State, those meetings between the Wolfpack and Tar Heels came later in the seasons.
Swepson was on the winning side on each one of those. And he was on a Boston College staff with a bowl victory against North Carolina, too.
He puts all that on the line for this non-conference matchup when North Carolina and Elon meet for the first time in football.
And nothing against Elon quarterback Thomas Wilson, but Swepson had Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson — both listed as starters on NFL depth charts today — on his side for some of those victories against the Tar Heels.
“For what it’s worth, I have a good track record (against North Carolina),” Swepson said. “A lot of good memories.”
Not that this evens out, but Fedora does have an Elon-related recollection. Former Elon player Nate Hogge spent time as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State when Fedora was offensive coordinator there. Hogge had come from a similar role at North Carolina.
None of this figures to be a factor in the outcome Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium, where Elon will arrive as a considerable underdog.
“I think we have a good enough team to get it to the fourth quarter,” Swepson said. “The bottom line is: Can we last?”
If by chance that happens, Fedora is likely to find out more than he ever imagined about Elon — and probably want to stay away from a place he has never visited.
Bob Sutton is sports editor of the Times-News.