The Countdown to Bowlmas will be a running series on Keeping It Heel leading up to the Belk Bowl on December 28th. The series will recap moments from the season in UNC football from Marquise William’s rise to Ryan Switzer’s amazing returns. We will even roll with the Christmas theme and center our recaps around verses from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Check back every morning for the daily countdown post, and use #Bowlmas to support the movement on Twitter.
At the beginning of the season, everyone was kind of shocked when they looked up the schedule online and saw Old Dominion listed for a late November contest. I wasn’t even sure where Old Dominion was, what conference they were in, or frankly anything about them.
When it came time for the game to be played on a cold November afternoon, everyone was pretty sure UNC would beat ODU, but they weren’t sure about much else. How good was Old Dominion, and just how good was Carolina? The Heels were coming off some nice wins against Pitt, NC State, BC and Virginia, but the ECU game was still lingering in the memory of the team and the fans. Would UNC show up and become bowl eligible, or would they flop and have to fight their way to victory?
At first, the home crowd was nervous as the Heels got off to a slow start. There was even at point in the first quarter when chants of ODU! ODU! ODU! filled the confines of Kenan Stadium. I knew I was really scared at that point. Flashbacks of ECU danced in my head…
But then it was like somebody spilled the bag of flour all over the kitchen floor. Points were everywhere! 35 points in the second quarter. Just the second quarter! 49-13 at the half. How about 31 more in the third quarter! Make it 80-20 with over 3 minutes to go in the third!
UNC was scoring at will, any way possible. Punt return TD by Ryan Switzer. Kick return TD from TJ Logan. A touchdown catch by Kendrick Singleton. Khris Francis TD scamper. And three more TJ Logan rushing touchdowns, just for good measure.
UNC easily could have scored 100 that day. The way it happened however was the particularly shocking part. After watching one quarter, I was worried we might not even win! And then the points started rolling in, and I was trying to find the point where I could say- Alright, enough, we got the win. First I thought 35 might do it. Then 42 was enough. Then 49, and oh yea, its not even halftime.
The best analogy I could come up with is a kid decorating Christmas cookies and just dumping an entire can of sprinkles on the cookie. Tap, a few sprinkles come out. Another tap, and a couple more sprinkles fall down. But then the kid opens up the lid and before you can reach across the table and stop them, the entire cookie is an inch deep in a mountain of sprinkles.
That game will be remembered by the Carolina faithful for a long time. Put it right there in the “recent memorable home games” category with Gio’s return, Bruce Carter’s punt blocking bonanza game and the 2009 Miami game. The ODU game was the day UNC’s football team almost outscored the basketball team.
The Heels scored points at will by being smarter, faster, and just better than their opponent. Those two quarters represented a little preview of what Coach Fedora’s offense was advertised to be when he was hired. And hopefully, a preview of what it could develop into in the future.