banner
Erin Summers

Texans Yates to make UNC history Sunday

Posted November 29, 2011

Former North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates will make school history, yet again, in his first career start in the NFL.

Yates broke the school’s records for total passing yards, single-season passing yards and single season total offense, and now he will be the first UNC quarterback to start in an NFL game ever.

Yates will take the helm for the Houston Texans Sunday after first-stringer Matt Schaub was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury and second-stringer Matt Leinart injured his collarbone in the team’s last game.

It’s been a rough season for injuries for the Texans but head coach Gary Kubiak is standing behind his rookie quarterback.

I made a point of watching the Texans game against the Jaguars last week because I was curious to see how Leinart would play. It’s not exactly been an easy road for the former University of Southern California quarterback.

Leinart collected accolades at USC, studying under Carson Palmer and then beating out Matt Cassel for the starting job. He took the Trojans to a National Championship title (though he has teammate Reggie Bush to thank for that being taken away) and earned himself the Manning award and Heisman trophy.

Leinart was drafted 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals, backing up Kurt Warner for four seasons before being cut and signed by the Texans.

Though he hasn’t made the impression in the pros that he did in college, Sunday was his chance. A chance taken from him before the half was over as Leinart went out with an injury.

With only two quarterbacks dressed for the game, the team turned to T.J. Yates. Yates played for North Carolina from 2007 to 2010. Though the team as a whole didn’t live up to expectations, he himself excelled. 

He broke records and led a team through the adversity of a NCAA investigation. Even when he fractured his ankle during the 2008 season, head coach Butch Davis was quick to opt for Yates over back-up Cam Sexton (who had played great in Yates’ absence) once Yates was healthy.

Having watched Yates play throughout college, I’ll admit I wasn’t ever his biggest fan. (I still think Davis should have left Sexton continue to play once Yates was healthy but that’s an argument for another day). Yates was drafted with the 152nd pick in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft, and I highly doubt anyone thought he'd see action in his rookie season.

But the Texans played even more conservative after Leinart went out and Yates was able to hold onto the win.

Coach Kubiak and even former UNC head coach Butch Davis have been very open about their belief that Yates will succeed Sunday. And I’m even more intrigued to see how Yates will do.

It'll be a game that maybe even Matt Schuab couldn’t have won as the Texans take on the Atlanta Falcons, so expectations for a win shouldn't be too high.

But it’s been awhile since the Tar Heels have had a quarterback in a NFL game at all (1987 Scott Stankavage to be exact) and the coaches, players and media around him all feel like Yates will be just fine.

 

 

16 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Dean .776 > K .764 Dec 5, 2011

    Great job Yates. Leading a team towards the playoffs.

  • kennywalters Dec 5, 2011

    Anyway, Yates had a good first NFL start. His numbers may not have been flashy, but that goose egg in the INT column certainly helped the Texans win the game.

  • daniel81nc Dec 3, 2011

    View quoted thread


    some will say he stunk it against the pack his junior year because of the INT considering it happened at the end of the game when unc was trying to drive down the field to get in field goal range at least. i might have it confused on his sophmore year but i thought sexton was the injured starter that year and yates was playing til he did bad and they put sexton in when he was not 100% to try and stop the bleeding and he did just as bad as yates did. either way its still not on yates for that game. he was a young qb.

  • daniel81nc Dec 3, 2011

    and to think he got booed out of the gym. does "i'm tj yates and i am a tarheel" "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" bring back any memories? what about the throwing of projectiles after the fsu loss (i think it was fsu) his junior year.
    the guy was nasty his senior year i will give him that and congrats on him reaching the big time. after all the grief he got, he deserves to live it up in the light at the next level.

  • kennywalters Dec 2, 2011

    View quoted thread



    Always?

    Freshman year, agreed. 22/42 241 yards 0 TD 2 INT
    Sophomore year, agreed. 10/22 116 yards 0 TD 1 INT though in his defense he was just coming back from injury and it has been widely argued that Butch should've started Cam Sexton instead.
    Junior year, don't agree. 13/19 280 yards 2 TD 1 INT. UNC ran the ball 34 times that game and it is hard to argue that a QB stunk it up when he throws 14.7 ypa. That's pretty efficient passing.
    Senior year, only State-red glasses would make someone agree with you. 33/44 411 yards 2TD 0 INT. Yates didn't lose that game.

  • Packman24 Dec 2, 2011

    Good luck to T.J. he is one tarheel I don't hate because he always stunk it up vs the pack!!

  • OGE Dec 2, 2011

    View quoted thread



    While he is not nearly as pretty a man...could he be another Tom Brady?

  • Clifftopper Dec 2, 2011

    I don't think Stankavage ever started. I think he told me that himself at a party one time years ago. I do think that Danny Talbott may have started a game in the late 1960s but it would have been an exhibition game (now called preseason game). He played for the Redskins behind Sonny Jurgensen for three seasons.
    More info: http://capitalsports.us/?p=2852

  • Big Mike Dec 1, 2011

    What impressed me most about TJ is his ability to stay calm and be smart with his decisions..he is the "Professor" at QB..it will be fun to see how he reacts with a 300lb Falcon trying to rip his head off..I htink he's about to impress some folks..

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Dec 1, 2011

    View quoted thread



    Did Strankavage start for the Broncos? Or did he just play? It looks like he only played in four games in his career. That doesn't mean he started in those games.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/S/StanSc00.htm

    http://www.nfl.com/player/scottstankavage/2526378/profile

    Looks like he attempted a total of 25 passes in four appearances. Doesn't sound like he was the starter in those games.

More...

 

 

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NBA: Golden State at Cleveland

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitols

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Saturday at 6:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
NBA
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
1st
CITA 10
ETST 13
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
CSOU
 
7:00pm Tonight
VMI
CHAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
BRY
CCST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
CCAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DREX
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCA
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
HOU
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
JVST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WRST
UWMIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
MINN
7:00pm Tonight
RFLSH
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
NEB
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
NEOM
 
7:00pm Tonight
ELON
NE
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
RAD
 
7:00pm Tonight
FD
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
Terriers
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
VANDY
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
WAGN
 
7:00pm Tonight
FUR
WCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
IUPUI
WILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAMP
WINT
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
WOFF
 
7:30pm Tonight
APP
GSOUT
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
CHAR
8:00pm Tonight
MURST
EILL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
FIU
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
FATL
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
UWGB
 
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
NDST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NARZ
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
ODU
8:00pm Tonight
MON
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
SIUE
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
UTEP
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
TXSA
8:00pm Tonight
TENST
TENNM
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHIST
GRCN
 
8:05pm Tonight
SALA
LAMON
 
8:05pm Tonight
UMKC
WLVRN
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKLR
UGST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
TXARL
 
8:30pm Tonight
TXST
TROY
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ARZ
9:00pm Tonight
PURD
RUTG
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
SMU
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
SUTAH
 
9:00pm Tonight
MORE
TENT
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
MNTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
BYU
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
CSFU
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
MONT
 
10:00pm Tonight
SCU
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCSB
UCD
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
UCI
 
10:30pm Tonight
UTAH
ARST
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
ORST
11:00pm Tonight
GONZ
SDU
11:00pm Tonight
USF
GAELS
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
LBSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
ARI
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
MON
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
VAN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CHI
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
STL
8:30pm Tonight
NAS
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
DET
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
OTT