TarHeelIllustrated - No. 6: 1947
football Edit

No. 6: 1947

Our series ranking the 20 best UNC football teams of all time continues with the 1947 Tar Heels.
Our series ranking the 20 best UNC football teams of all time continues with the 1947 Tar Heels. (blogs.lib.unc.edu)

Our series ranking the 20 best UNC football teams of all time continues today. Once this series concludes, we will rank the best UNC basketball teams of all time:



No. 6: 1947

Record: 8-2 (4-1)

Bowl: None

Ranking: 9

Coach: Carl Snavely

All-Americans: Charlie Justice (TB); Walt Pupa (FB)

Honors: None

What's To Know: By the start of the 1947 season, the song "All The Way Choo Choo" was still two years from being recorded, further entrenching tailback Charlie Justice into Tar Heels lore, but he was already well known. A successful stint playing a collegiate schedule for the Bainbridge Naval Center team during World War II had Justice on the map, but he really rose to stardom leading the Heels.

After opening with an impressive win over Georgia, the Heels suffered disappointing loss at Texas (34-0) and at home to Wake Forest, though Justice and the Heels soared the rest of the way, winning out in convincing fashion every week.

They didn't allow more than seven points in any of their final seven games while Justice, Art Weiner, Walt Pupa and company averaged 27 themselves. Among the victims: Florida (35-7 on a day Hosea Rodgers ran for 238 yards), Tennessee (held the Vols to three first downs), Duke (crowd of 56,500), and William & Mary.

There were only a few bowls at the time, so UNC didn't play in one though the Orange Bowl extended an invitation. But many of the players voted it down because they had already made plans for the holidays.

That season helped set up the next two for Justice, who would become the only two-time runner-up for the Heisman until Arkansas' Derrick McFadden did it nearly a decade ago.


1948 NFL Draft

3rd Rnd: Bill Smith, T, Cardinals

8th Rnd: Jim Camp, QB, Cardinals


1947 Results