( 1 don't like what
happened to Mike at
N C. State. But given
that it did, to have
him come here
is a peifCct situation.'
Torbush entered his third season at 11-1 3.
Torbush looks at an ESPN Magazine
opened to "The Play"-the tandem tackle
by Tar Heels Errol Hood and David Bomar
'00 of N.e. State's Chris Coleman, saving
Carolina's 10-6 win last November and
helping salvage the jobs of Torbush and his
nine assistant coaches.
"That much difference," he says, holding
his hands six inches apart."No telling where
we might be right now. You hate to think
things eventually worked out like they did
because of those six inches. But I'm smart
enough to understand that's probably what
just dropped his seventh straight game to
Carolina and, the following week, would lose
to another arch-rival, East Carolina. Though
O'Cain later said that "there were some
things working against me, I might not have
survived anyway," the WolfPack's inability
to score on fourtl1 down with just a minute
to play against the Tar Heels was too much
for the State hierarchy to stomach.
Carolina escaped with a 10-6 win and
O'Cain was fired two weeks later and-
poo£! - showed up in Chapel Hill on
Torbush's staffas offensive coordinator and
quarterbacks coach four days before
"The good Lord took care of Carl
Torbush;' says the head coach, who became
friends with O'Cain on the recruiting trail
nearly 20 years ago. "Once he decided I'm
supposed to stay here, he put Mike O'Cain
right in my path. I don't like what happened
to Mike at N.e. State. But given that it did,
to have him come here is a perfect situation:'
"It's the way this crazy business works,"
O'Cain adds with a wry smile.
These strange bedfellows (including
State offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell,
who joined O'Cain in the light blue section
of the sportswear department) have come
to partly define an interesting off-season of
Tar Heel football. Straight off the depths
of a 3-8 season in 1999 that included
home losses to Furman and Wake Forest
and thousands of vacant seats in Kenan
Stadilm1, the mindset around the program
has done a remarkable about-face. Torbush
certainly is not out of the forest. But hope
epte111 beri Oct0ber 2000