PITTSBURGH — Ask anyone on the North Carolina football team if Drake Maye’s left-handed touchdown pass should make SportsCenter’s Top Ten, and they’ll probably say yes.
Well, everyone except Maye. He disagrees and isn’t even planning on checking later. The sophomore quarterback confirmed his opinion with an emphatic “nahhh” following UNC’s 41-24 win at Pitt on Saturday night.
To those who didn't tune in, don’t follow any relevant sports social media platforms or somehow just haven’t seen the play yet, it happened like this: midway through UNC's conference opener, Maye scrambled left toward two Panther defenders after faking a handoff. As he raised his right hand to stiff-arm a tackler, Maye saw sophomore wide receiver Kobe Paysour wide open, braced for impact and tossed a left-handed touchdown.
Shortly after, head coach Mack Brown told his quarterback that if UNC won, Maye’s ad-lib pass would be SportsCenter’s No. 1 play.
“I think [the pass] would’ve been number one either way,” Brown said. “But I was shocked. I’d never seen him even do that. He just acts like he does it all the time.”
By the end of the night, the play headlined one of Maye's best games so far this season, with 296 passing yards, no interceptions and two additional touchdowns from the ground.
The season-wide implications of Maye’s all-around performance are notable. The reigning ACC Player of the Year seems to have finally found his rhythm after a sluggish start, averaging 355 passing yards in his last two performances.
Brown continued to praise his quarterback after the game, saying that Maye’s lefty improvisation was "maybe the best play [he'd] ever seen in college football." At this point, you can probably guess Maye’s reaction.
“I don’t know about that,” he said with a laugh.