Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 34-14 home win over Wofford on Senior Day in Kenan Stadium.
- It took until Game 11 but Carolina is finally bowl eligible. Don’t take that for granted. Following the win over Miami the Tar Heels still needed a victory over Wofford plus beating either Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, or NC State. The Heels have now made a bowl game in all three years of Mack Brown’s second tenure in Chapel Hill.
- As expected, Sam Howell didn’t play on Saturday. While his injury and resulting absence meant that the victory was less lopsided than it otherwise could have been, the opportunity had long-term program benefits. Jacolby Criswell and Drake Maye each got a full half of football (Criswell started, Maye came in for the second half) to get their feet wet ahead of their pending 2022 quarterback battle.
- Criswell completed 11 passes in 19 attempts for 125 yards and ran five times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Maye completed seven passes on nine attempts for 89 yards and a touchdown and added 38 rushing yards on four attempts. Both quarterbacks’ skill sets allowed Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo to more or less keep the same playback as when Howell is under center.
- The passing touchdown for Maye was the first of his career. Drake follows in his father Mark’s shoes, who threw his first career touchdown pass for the Tar Heels in 1984.
- Hakeem Nicks set the Carolina single-season receiving record in 2008 with 1,222 yards. Josh Downs is inching ever closer to that mark. With his 89 yards on Saturday, he sits at 1,198 for the season, just 24 yards shy of Nicks’ mark with two games left to play. Barring injury or some other unforeseen incident, Downs should easily become the new record holder.
- Nicks set the record in 13 games and Downs will likely do so in 12 and has an outside chance, with two monster games, to reach an unprecedented 1,500 receiving yards. He would need to average 151 yards per game in the final two, a mark he’s surpassed twice this season already.
- Ty Chandler continued his strong rushing, finishing with 10 rushes for 78 yards. Were it not Senior Day and Wofford, he would have almost certainly gone over 100 yards on the ground for the fourth time this season.
- British Brooks was the big story in the rushing game on his Senior Day, finishing with 89 rushing yards and two touchdowns on seven attempts.
- Given the opponent and shifting personnel, it would have been easy for the Tar Heels to play another penalty-laden game, but UNC had their fewest penalties (three, tied with the Georgia State game) and penalty yards (28) of the season. Hopefully, Carolina can build on this more disciplined performance next Friday at NC State.
- On the defensive side, Cedric Gray led the way with eight tackles. Curiously, the Tar Heels didn’t record any sacks but did grab an interception courtesy of Kyler McMichael.
- The big question going forward: Will Sam Howell be healthy enough to lead the Tar Heels against NC State the day after Thanksgiving or will Mack Brown be forced to lean on either Criswell or Maye?
- Carolina is looking to sweep the other three North Carolina ACC schools for the second straight year and NC State for the third straight.
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 NC State on Friday to close out the regular season. Kickoff is at 7:00pm ET on ESPN.
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