RALEIGH — Freshman receiver Ryan Switzer corralled the backward pass from Bryn Renner, rolled out to the right and flung up a high-arching lob that settled nicely into the hands of Quinshad Davis for a touchdown.
Switzer said that he didn’t expect coaches to call the option pass, that he hadn’t thrown a ball in a game since “midget league.” Davis said Swizter had looked rough tossing the football in practice all week. But the play worked to perfection, giving UNC a second-quarter 21-16 lead against N.C. State — much to the jubilation of Switzer, who chestbumped every teammate who would comply.
In a teeter-totter 27-19 win against the Wolfpack (3-5, 0-5 ACC), the Tar Heels (3-5, 2-3) needed to use every asset at its disposal. Coach Larry Fedora joked after the game that he considered putting Switzer at quarterback, as both Bryn Renner and platoon partner Marquise Williams went down with injuries throughout the course of the contest.
Fedora said his team showed resiliency, responding to those injuries and playing past its mental miscues and penalties.
“We had talked about going into this game what was going to happen, and it happened,” Fedora said. “Whether we went up or down, there were going to be a lot of ups and downs in the game … I just said, ‘Play it the same way with the same emotion, same enthusiasm, same energy.’”