It wasn’t pretty the entire game, but it was a win. The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Liberty Flames by the score of 56-29 in their season opener in Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Tar Heels were led on the field by Marquise Williams, who threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more. His 52 rushing yards were second on the team, coming behind 54 yards from Charles Brunson on the last Tar Heel drive of the game.
Williams started the game, but backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky also saw the field a lot. Trubisky threw for 66 yards and a touchdown while getting 16 pass attempts, 13 less attempts than Williams. Trubisky did throw one less interception that Williams, as Williams threw two picks and Trubisky one.
North Carolina started fast, scoring on their first drive to go up 7-0 with 11:25 left in the first quarter. A one yard Romar Morris run with 3:22 left in the first quarter answered Liberty’s scoring drive and put the Tar Heels ahead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was by far the most ugly looking for the Tar Heels. North Carolina surrendered a team safety when a snap went over the head of punter Tommy Hibbard and into the back of the endzone. A D.J. Abnar one yard run put the Flames up 15-14 with 1:37 left in the second quarter, but Marquise Williams’s three yard scramble for a touchdown put the Heels ahead at the half 21-15.
In the third quarter, following a 27 yard fumble recovery by Liberty’s Jacob Hagen, the Tar Heels scored four straight touchdowns in rapid fashion to put the game away. Mack Hollins caught a 33 yard pass from Marquise Williams, followed by a Jeff Schoettmer interception return TD, followed by a 15 yard Williams scramble for a touchdown, followed by a a four yard TD pass from Mitch Trubisky to Jack Tabb. All four of those touchdowns happened in a span of four minutes from 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter to 2:00 minutes left in the third quarter.
North Carolina finished with 443 yards of total offense to Liberty’s 346. North Carolina had 10 penalties for 60 yards in the game, and finished with four turnovers.
The Tar Heels play next week against San Diego State at home.