Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 48-21 home victory over NC State on Saturday afternoon.
- The 48-21 blowout snaps a three-game home losing streak to the Wolfpack. Carolina dominated the first half but only had a 17-7 lead at the half. A 21-point explosion in the third quarter allowed the Heels to coast in the fourth quarter.
- In fact, Carolina had such a comfortable lead that with 11 minutes remaining in the game, Coach Brown gave Sam Howell, Michael Carter, Javonte Williams, and many other starters the rest of the day off.
- Speaking of Williams, he tallied three more touchdowns and now has multiple scores in EVERY game this season. For the record, he has 12 total touchdowns, which at the end of the game today, was the most in the country. Williams had three against Syracuse, two against Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Florida State, and three more today against NC State.
- Carter and Williams once again combined for more than 300 all-purpose yards. Today they totaled 336, with Carter accounting for 176 (106 rushing, 46 receiving, 24 return yards) and 160 for Williams (all on the ground). The dynamic backfield duo has hit the 300-plus mark in all-purpose yards in three of five games this season.
- The Tar Heels were once again without Storm Duck and also down Beau Corrales and Patrice Rene.
- Emery Simmons got the start in place of Corrales. He had five catches for 38 yards. Prior to this game, the sophomore had a total of four career catches. He matched that mark by the first quarter. Sam Howell showed trust in Simmons by looking his way multiple times on the first drive of the game (including the first offensive snap).
- Simmons’s five receptions were second on the team to Dyami Brown’s career-high seven catches for 105 yards. Brown would have added even more to his total, but unfortunately dropped a perfect pass from Brown down the sideline on Carolina’s second drive of the game.
- I understand having the announcers not on-site but on multiple occasions in the first half, Dave Pasch was either unable to see what was happening on the field or was mistaken about what happened in the game. On Carolina’s first touchdown Pasch said he couldn’t tell if the call was touchdown or not because of being at home. He thought Michael Carter was out at the 1, but the broadcast showed the touchdown graphic. On NC State’s 2nd drive he called it a “3 & out” even though the Wolfpack had picked up a first down. On NC State’s 4th drive, Pasch said he was unable to see a flag that had been thrown.
- Carolina had forced just two turnovers coming into this game, but recorded their first multi-takeaway game of the season with three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Perhaps more importantly, while forcing four turnovers, the Tar Heels didn’t surrender any turnovers themselves.
- Don Chapman grabbed one of those three interceptions on an incredibly athletic play in the end zone. A busted coverage left a Wolfpack receiver alone in the end zone but he juggled the catch and Chapman came flying through the air to snag the ball.
- Prior to Chapman’s interception, NC State had been 11-11 on converting touchdowns in goal-to-go situations this season.
- After two weeks of less-than-typical numbers for Chazz Surratt, he was special on Saturday. Surratt was responsible for two of the takeaways (one of the picks and forced the fumble), led the team with eight tackles (six solo), had one sack and one tackle-for-loss.
- Coach Brown said in the postgame press conference that turnovers and rushing yards often tell the story of these UNC vs. NC State match-ups. As has already been mentioned, Carolina won the turnover battle 4-0. The difference in rushing yards was equally as one-sided with the Tar Heels leading that statistical category 326-34. No that’s not a typo.
- In another eyepopping offensive stat, the Carolina offense has amassed 550-plus yards of total offense in three straight games (656 vs. Virginia Tech, 558 vs. Florida State, 578 vs. NC State).
- Furman transfer and FCS-All American kicker Grayson Atkins has had some trouble converting field goals early in the season. He missed a chip shot in the first half of this game, but Coach Brown stuck with his kicker and was rewarded with two second half field goals. Here’s what Coach Brown had to say about the decision after the game:
- Congratulations to true freshman receiver Josh Downs who hauled in his first career touchdown reception. As you'll see in the video, due to busted coverage for State, Downs is as wide open as a player can get:
- The only time quarterbacks get to showcase their blocking skills (or lack thereof) is on a double-reverse where he leads the way for the ball carrier. Early in the second quarter, Javonte Williams carried to the left side of the line but had to cut back right, where Howell was waiting out front. Here’s what ensued:
- Perhaps the most impressive drive of the game came in the third quarter with Carolina already leading 24-7. Carolina started just inside their own one-yard line. Javonte Williams had a 24-yard carry on first down to get out from the goal line and 10 plays later he bookended the drive by plunging in from one yard out for his first score of the day.
- If we’re nitpicking the young Carolina quarterback, one area of growth would be learning to throw the ball away when necessary. The second drive of the day ended with Howell taking a sack that drove the Heels out of field goal territory. He had multiple opportunities to throw the ball away. The rest of the day, Howell did a great job of getting rid of the ball when the situation called for it.
- Jonathan Kim continues to be an unsung hero for this team. Was a perfect 8-for-8 today on touchbacks. This brings his season total to 31-for 33.
Mack Brown postgame press conference
Players postgame press conference
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina football game. Next up is a road game against Virginia on Saturday, October 31. Kickoff is at 8:00pm ET on ACC Network.
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