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The Daily Tar Heel

Dazz Newsome climbs to fourth on UNC all-time receptions list in Senior Day win over WCU

Senior wide receiver Dazz Newsome (5) scores a touchdown against Western Carolina in Kenan Memorial Stadium on Dec. 5, 2020.

With less than a minute left in the first half, wide receiver Dazz Newsome knelt and faced the cheering North Carolina student section on Saturday.

The senior Tar Heel had just scored his 19th touchdown in a Carolina Blue uniform. Newsome caught the ball alone in the back of the end zone, securing a beautifully lofted pass from sophomore quarterback Sam Howell.

That catch was the finale of the North Carolina football team's offensive clinic during the first half of Saturday's game, in which the Tar Heels racked up six touchdowns before the break. The 49-9 victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts was bittersweet for the senior Tar Heels, including Newsome, who celebrated Senior Day during the final game in Kenan Memorial Stadium this season. 

"I hope they remember me as a competitor, somebody that always wants to compete," Newsome said in a press conference this week.

UNC senior wide receiver Dazz Newsome (5) celebrates a touchdown in front of the student section of Kenan Memorial Stadium during a game against Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. UNC beat Wake Forest 59-53.

The wideout certainly competed on Saturday, leading the productive UNC receiving core. He reeled in all of his six targets for 82 yards and a touchdown and tallied a 15-yard run.

Newsome has been a presence during his time at UNC and will be remembered for his speed and elusiveness, both while running routes and competing for yards after the catch. 

After Saturday's win, he ranks fourth in receptions in North Carolina football history with 180 catches, just one shy of third place. As a Tar Heel, he has contributed over 2,200 all-purpose yards and even threw a completed pass for 43 yards in 2018. 

"He has probably improved his ability to catch the ball as much as anybody I've ever been around from the day we got here two years ago 'til today, and he is a factor in every game," UNC head coach Mack Brown said.

Newsome's big day was accompanied by 11 other Tar Heels recording catches. The game against the Catamounts allowed Brown to go deep into his bench, evaluating players that will eventually replace the the day's celebrated seniors.

Following today's celebrations, as the Tar Heels prepare to say goodbye to a lot of talent at the end of what is on track to be a record-shattering season on the offensive side of the ball, UNC fans can rely on the return of Howell. Howell tallied 328 total yards of offense in the first half against WCU and finished with only one more incompletion than touchdowns thrown on the day with three and two, respectively. 

Brown also showcased a glimpse into the future for North Carolina football, playing seemingly every available rotation player in the second half to reward some players for their hard work in practice while also evaluating his talent, as he looks to carry the success of this season into next year. 

"It's really exciting when we are able to get a lot of guys in the game and build that depth," senior running back Michael Carter said. "That's what creates powerhouses and dynasties, and that's what we want to create here." 

The senior Tar Heels still have one regular season game remaining against a top-10 Miami team, in a rematch of last year's UNC win that ended with a memorable, last-minute touchdown catch by Newsome. It was a game Carter and Newsome both recalled as one of their favorite memories in a North Carolina uniform.

Now, the entire UNC football team will look to recreate that magic when the Tar Heels travel to Miami next week.


@dthsports |

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