With the start of the new football season just around the corner and with all the buzz about top draft picks, future hall of famers, new players and team predictions for the upcoming season swirling in the media, my brother Chris and I (both former starting and record-breaking UNC quarterbacks) decided to take a step back in time and compile an All-Opponent Team from the years we played college football during the 1970’s.

Chris and I played QB at UNC during a stretch that ran from 1972-1979 with the exception of 1974 when there was not a Kupec in a Tar Heel uniform:

The Kupec Brothers All-Opponent List (College Football Players who Played Vs. UNC 1972-79)

Wait until you review the list!  The list includes:

  • All 22 opponents were named College All-American.
  • 16 future 1st round NFL picks.
  • 5 of those named earned NFL Hall of Fame honors!
  • 9 of those named earned at least one Pro Bowl recognition

So, take a good long look at the list and see which opponents went on to NFL fame and glory.  And which ones didn’t live up to their billing due to a myriad of reasons. One thing you will see for sure, UNC played against some incredibly talented individuals during the Kupec QB years!!

Name College College


NFL Career Played


Pos. Rd Years Honors/Notes


QB Dan Marino Pittsburgh All-America 1 17 Hall of Fame Matt
RB Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh All-America 1 12 Hall of Fame Chris
RB George Rogers S. Carolina All-America 1 7 2x 1st team All-Pro Matt
RB Ted Brown NC State All-America 1 7 4,546 rushing yards Matt
WR Jerry Butler Clemson All-America 1 7 Pro Bowl in 1980 Matt
TE Bennie Cunningham Clemson All-America 1 10 202 receptions; 20 TD’s Chris
OL John Hicks Ohio State All-America 1 4 #3rd pick in the draft Chris
OL Joe Bostic Clemson All-America 3 10 Matt
OL Chris Ward Ohio State All-America 1 3 #4th pick in the draft Chris
OL Jim Richter NC State All-America 1 16 2x Pro Bowl selection Matt
OL Bill Bryan Duke All-America 4 11 All Pro Matt


DL Randy White Maryland All-America 1 14 Hall of Fame Chris
DL Jim Stuckey Clemson All-America 1 7 20th pick in the draft Matt
DL Curtis Greer Michigan All-America 1 6 6th pick in the draft Matt


Hugh Green Pittsburgh All-America 1 11 2x All-Pro



Rickey Jackson Pittsburgh All-America 1 13 Hall of Fame Matt


Randy Gradishar Ohio State All-America 1 10



Jeff Davis Clemson All-America 5 6



Bill Armstrong Wake Forest All-America 8 2 Played in CFL



Jeff Nixon

Richmond All-America 4 6


DB Bob Jury Pittsburgh All-America 3 1


Background on the UNC Kupec QB Brothers

About the Kupec boys UNC careers:

  • Chris (1972-1974):  had arguably the greatest year of any UNC QB ever in his senior year (1974).  Led one of the nation’s most prolific offenses. Named All-ACC QB. Broke NCAA passing records for passing efficiency and fewest interceptions.  His passing efficiency ranks as #1 in UNC history after nearly 44 years! Broke his collarbone in a start vs. Missouri early in his junior year and missed the rest of the season.
  • Matt (1976-1979):  started at QB in all four seasons beginning with midway through his freshman season.  Set 19 season and career passing records at the time. Two still stand today, most wins as a starting quarterback (24) and most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (13).  Was named MVP of Liberty and Gator Bowls, only one of seven players in the history of the ACC to be so recognized with at least two MVP awards.

Here were the team records during Chris and Matt’s tenure at UNC:

Season W L T Final Score/Bowl Game # Bowls Comments
1972 (Chris) 11 1 0 UNC 32 Texas Tech 28 (Sun) 11 #12 Final AP Ranking; tops in ACC; ACC Champs
1973 (Chris) 4 7 0 No Bowl Game 11
1974 (Chris) 7 5 0 Miss St. 26 UNC 24 (Sun) 11 2nd place ACC (tied);
1976 (Matt) 9 3 0 Kentucky 21  UNC 0 (Peach) 12 2nd place ACC;
1977 (Matt) 8 3 1 Nebraska 21 UNC 17 (Liberty) 13 #17 Final AP ranking; ACC champs;
1978 (Matt) 5 6 0 No Bowl Game 15 4th place ACC;
1979 (Matt) 8 3 1 UNC 17 Michigan 15 (Gator) 15 #15 ranking; only ranked in ACC just 4th ACC finish
 Totals 52 28 2