Up and down the sphere they went, Sam Howell and North Carolina’s offense ending drive after drive ultimately zone whether or not or not or not by way of the air on the underside.

The Twenty first-ranked Tar Heels have discovered among the many many offensive rhythm lacking in a season-opening loss.

Howell threw 5 landing passes and ran for a career-best 112 yards as North Carolina took over after halftime to beat Virginia 59-39 on Saturday night time.

The Tar Heels (2-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored touchdowns on all 5 of their second-half drives, which helped flip a 28-24 halftime deficit correct proper right into a 52-31 lead on Howell’s quick TD throw to Kamari Morales with 12:13 left. And after a first-half shootout with Brennan Armstrong and the Cavaliers (2-1, 0-1), North Carolina gave up solely an area objective contained in the third quarter whereas furthermore creating with Ja’Qurious Conley’s interception.

Armstrong saved inserting up numbers, too, with further yards than any Virginia quarterback had ever thrown in any recreation and better than any North Carolina opponent had ever surrendered. But there was no sustaining with the Tar Heels on this one.

“It was fun to watch them and both of them put on an absolute show,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown mentioned, “and Sam just had more help with the running game.”

Indeed, there have been no scarcity of offensive stars.

Tennessee graduate change Ty Chandler ran for a career-high 198 yards with two touchdowns, the last word from 7 yards out with 2:57 left to seal it. And Josh Downs had eight catches for 203 yards and a pair of TDs.

It was UNC’s largest scoring output in route of Virginia since 1936 contained in the long-running sequence and second-most ever.

“We just played a complete game on offense,” Howell mentioned.

Virginia’s offense did its job, with Armstrong throwing for a program-record 554 yards with 4 touchdowns. That included a career-best effectivity for Dontayvion Wicks (seven catches for 183 yards and a rating) on account of the Cavaliers achieved with 574 complete yards. But coach Bronco Mendenhall may uncover no positives on security, saying: “There really wasn’t anything stopped well.”

“There was basically two different games going on,” he mentioned. “There was our offense against their defense and I was really impressed with our off performance. But then there was their offense against our defense, and they clearly won that matchup in every way.”


Virginia: The Cavaliers had acquired 4 straight conferences nonetheless they acquired little defensively apart from Fentrell Cypress III choosing off Howell ultimately zone and returning it 66 yards to rearrange a second-quarter landing. They furthermore did nothing to help Armstrong, working 22 circumstances for merely 21 yards.

North Carolina: The hype for the preseason league Coastal Division favourite had misplaced some luster after a season-opening loss at Virginia Tech, which included Howell being sacked six circumstances and harassed into the primary three-interception recreation of his occupation. The Tar Heels knew they might not afford one totally different stumble contained in the division race with that early loss, then responded by beating the Cavaliers for the primary time since October 2016.


After a 14-spot fall from No. 10 after the Virginia Tech loss, the Tar Heels is extra more likely to be set as so much as begin climbing as quickly as further after a effectivity that appeared fairly further like what all folks anticipated shifting into the season.


The Tar Heels confronted the difficulty of adjusting star working backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, now contained in the NFL. This was the primary time that, from starting to finish, the Tar Heels had been churning out massive runs with out them.

UNC ran 47 circumstances for 392 yards as in contrast with merely 21 go makes an strive for his or her star quarterback, and achieved with 699 complete yards.


Armstrong accomplished 39 of 54 passes after throwing for a career-best 405 yards in final week’s win in route of Illinois.

“I really don’t think about the record,” Armstrong mentioned. “I think about the loss.”


Once as quickly as further, North Carolina’s prime receiver tormented the Virginia secondary.

Two years beforehand, Dyami Brown had six catches for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He adopted with 11 catches for 240 yards with three further scores.

This time, Downs had a 57-yard catch-and-run TD on UNC’s first drive, then laid out for a spectacular 37-yard TD seize merely contained throughout the as soon as extra appropriate nook of the best zone on the second.

“Just from the game plan we had, I knew we were going to have some opportunities to kind of isolate Josh on the safety,” Howell mentioned. “And every chance we had to do that, we connected on it.”


Virginia: The Cavaliers return dwelling to play a cross-divisional league recreation Friday in route of Wake Forest, which beat Florida State on Saturday for a 3-0 begin.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels play their second league freeway division recreation contained in the opening month of the schedule, visiting Georgia Tech subsequent Saturday.