The North Carolina football team (6-5, 3-4 ACC) captured a victory on Senior Day on Saturday, blowing past the Wofford Terriers (1-10, 0-8 Southern), 34-14, to cap off its home schedule.
After stepping in for an injured Sam Howell, sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell got the Tar Heels on the board early. On the first drive of the game, Criswell capped off an 82-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give UNC an early 7-0 lead. After stopping the Terriers on their opening drive, the Tar Heels added three more to their lead, ending another long drive with a 27-yard field goal from graduate kicker Grayson Atkins, to extend the UNC lead to 10.
UNC was forced to punt on their next possession, gaining only 15 yards on six plays, to give Wofford a chance to make it a game early. The Terriers took advantage of the opportunity on their next drive, scoring their first points off a 3-yard rush by first-year quarterback Kyle Pinnix to cut the Tar Heel lead to three.
Although it was close momentarily, the UNC offense didn’t take long to respond, extending the lead back to ten on a 38-yard touchdown run by senior running back British Brooks. The Tar Heel defense forced a Wofford punt on their next possession and when they got the ball back, UNC capped off a 74-yard drive with a 34-yard Atkins field goal to make the score 20-7 heading into the half.
The North Carolina offense kept their foot on the gas early in the second, with Brooks scoring his second touchdown of the day off a 14-yard rush to blow the lead open to 20, 27-7. After holding the Terriers scoreless in three consecutive drives, UNC added another score late in the third quarter, capping off a 14-play, 85-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Kamari Morales to give the Tar Heels a 27 point advantage.
Wofford added another touchdown midway through the fourth quarter off a 19-yard rush from sophomore running back Ryan Ingram but the score remained steady late and UNC was able to hang on to their 20-point lead and emerge with a 34-14 win.
Who stood out?
The Tar Heel rushers paved the way for the offense, with seven players accounting for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Brooks led the group with 89 yards and two touchdowns on seven attempts and Chandler also accounted for 78 yards on ten carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Kyler McMichael accounted for the only turnover of the day, picking off his first pass of the season early in the third quarter.
When was it decided?
After Wofford cut the Tar Heel lead to three midway through the second quarter, UNC responded loudly and didn’t look back. The Tar Heels stepped up big on both sides of the ball, scoring 24 unanswered points at one point in their win against the Terriers to finish the game.
Why does it matter?
With only one game left on the schedule, UNC was able to secure its spot in a bowl game after routing Wofford. The Tar Heels also had a rare opportunity to spread the playing time out Saturday, with both backup quarterbacks seeing significant action.
When do they play next?
UNC will be back in action against No. 25 N.C. State next Saturday in Raleigh for its final regular season game of the season. Kickoff between UNC and the Wolfpack is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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