While Brown became just the fourth player in program history to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a season, it didn’t take long for Newsome to add his name to that list.
A little over a minute into the fourth quarter, first-year quarterback Sam Howell flung a pass to the left corner of the end zone. Newsome drew ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd again, backpedaling out of double coverage to reel in the touchdown.
The grab gave the junior 71 receiving yards on the day and allowed him to crack 1,000 on the year. It came four and a half minutes after Temple scored its second touchdown of the game, and ended any hope of an Owl comeback.
But just like Brown, Newsome was quick to deflect any praise.
“I didn’t think that was as good of a catch as everybody said,” Newsome said. “He threw it right to me. I just had to catch it.”
Then, there’s Carter.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Tar Heels held on to a 35-point advantage and were milking the clock. On that drive, the junior ran the ball 10 times.
Eventually, he was rewarded. Carter’s last run of four yards put him at 1,003 on the season. He became only the third 1,000-yard rusher since head coach Mack Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill ended in 1997.
Carter’s dirty work set up another Williams touchdown, this time from two yards out to put the icing on UNC’s victory with 2:11 left in the contest.
“If it would’ve been one of us, I think it would’ve been still special. But I think the fact that three of us did it today … it’s just really fun to be out there competing,” Carter said.
After the game, in the brief moment that any of the three players spent talking about themselves, Newsome relished in the fact that he’d achieved goals that he’d written on his bedroom walls to start the season.
“I set them for 1,000 and I set them for 10 touchdowns,” he said. “... And I got them.”
It’s things like that — “the bond with these guys, seeing them get better,” to be exact — that influenced Mack Brown’s return to coaching. Newsome knows this is only the beginning, though.
“It’s gonna be scary for every defense out there next year,” he said.
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