The bizarre season continued with a recreation of just about unprecedented twists and turns between two groups that basically don’t like one another very a lot, because the final minute of 60 at Kenan Stadium confirmed.
The Tar Heels welcomed a sparse COVID-allowed crowd again to Kenan, and hopefully the opposite 50,000 ticket holders who had been watching and listening appreciated record-breaking performances by the house staff. The sport had 14 whole touchdowns, and two extra had been referred to as again by penalties.
Carolina rolled up 656 yards of whole offense in opposition to a Virginia Tech program that prides itself on protection. Someplace, retired D-coordinator Bud Foster needed to be wincing as he watched. It was the primary time ever two UNC operating backs surpassed 150 yards in the identical recreation, Michael Carter darting, side-stepping and sprinting to 214 and two touchdowns and Javonte Williams blasting to 169 yards and two extra scores to achieve six on the season, which leads the ACC and may lead the nation after the weekend.
Wanting really just like the No. eight staff within the nation, Mack Brown’s boys scored the primary thrice that they had the ball whereas holding the Hokies to 2 three-and-outs and 13 anemic yards. Then, the momentum shifted to the place Carolina thrice misplaced three-score leads and, for a second, regarded as if it may truly blow a recreation it had led 21-0, 35-14 and 42-17 earlier than lastly successful 56-45.
Sam Howell was sensational, finishing 18 of 23 passes with at the least two lifeless drops by his receivers and for 3 touchdowns. He hit Dyami Brown with two scoring bombs (his first two of 2020) and a third that was nullified as a result of Brown pushed off within the course of. Sudden Sam additionally hit Dazz Newsome for his first landing of the season and later threw an extended lateral to him that went down as a speeding TD.
However Howell was a finest supporting actor on this monitor meet between three operating backs and two choice quarterbacks on the opposite facet. Virginia Tech has a particular again of its personal in Kansas switch Khalil Herbert, who wound up with 139 yards and seven.7 yards per carry, down from his seasonal common of extra than 12 coming into the sport. Carter and Javonte had been higher; Carter had an extended landing run of 62 yards that boosted his common to 12-plus per carry and Williams ran with the leather-based for 7.7 per tote.
VaTech used its two run-pass quarterbacks who mixed for 19 carries, 80 yards and a landing on the bottom and hit 14 of 28 for 215 yards by the air, together with two for scores. Unusually, in such a wide-open affair, there wasn’t a fumble or an interception on a slick area from the morning rain.
The Hokies, now 2-1, scored 20 unanswered factors within the third quarter, seven coming after an onside kick that caught Carolina napping, and closed the margin to 5 factors. Mack Brown pointed to a few secondary regulars who missed the sport with accidents and three replacements who had been seeing their first prolonged motion of the season. However when the margin acquired antsy, the offense bailed out the protection with consecutive touchdowns, the second every by Newsome and Carter.
Regardless of all of the fireworks, the day didn’t look precisely proper. It was type of like a Duke recreation from years in the past when a small crowd strolled in and had its selection of any part, not to mention seats. And the Tar Heels got here out with one other new shade mixture, navy jerseys with mild blue numerals and names between white helmets and britches. Don’t ever do not forget that precise get-up, nevertheless it performed nicely “outlined in opposition to a blue-gray October sky” as Grantland Rice as soon as wrote it.
The Tar Heels are 3-Zero and sure to maneuver up some within the polls, contemplating losses by No. four Florida and No. 7 Miami. They now face a go to to a median Florida State staff earlier than coming again to Kenan to face N.C. State, which received at Virginia in a second straight street upset and appears like an actual rival once more.
“I didn’t understand it, however Virginia Tech had crushed us 13 out of 16 since they joined the ACC,” Mack Brown mentioned afterward, recalling the sport Larry Fedora’s final staff gave away right here two years in the past and the six-overtime loss in Blacksburg final season.
So you may see why the Hokies anticipated to win once more and had been nonetheless taking low cost photographs on Howell and his mates as they had been operating out the clock in a victory formation within the purple zone, from the place they may have simply scored once more.
Photograph by way of ACC Media.
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