UNC Football: Key Players and Moments from the win over San Diego State


For the second straight week, Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels came out flat against a perceived inferior opponent and had to battle back to avoid an embarrassing home loss to San Diego State. The Heels once again found themselves trailing in the 3rd quarter in a game that should not have been close but was. Coach Fedora’s team would score on four straight possessions in the 2nd half to overcome the 14 point deficit and their second interception in the end zone sealed the close 31-27 win.

There is still a lot of work to be done during the Heel’s bye week as they prepare for a difficult five game stretch beginning in two weeks with a trip to East Carolina, followed by a trip to Clemson. After that, games with Virginia Tech, who upset Ohio State this weekend, Notre Dame ,who shutout and humiliated Michigan, and Georgia Tech await UNC Football.

Here are some key players and moments from yesterday’s game.

Key Players

Marquise Williams must have fans wondering why there was ever quarterback competition this offseason as he was in complete control of the offense in the second half. The junior finished the game with 255 passing yards, 2 TDs and added 64 yards on the ground. When Williams was replaced by his backup Mitch Trubisky he responded by throwing an interception on his 2nd pass, which was the Tar Heel’s only turnover in the game. With two come from behind wins to open the season as well as last season’s bowl win, Williams has proved that he is the leader of this team going forward and there should be no questions or controversy about it.

Sophomore defensive back Brian Walker one of four players suspended for last week’s season opener made the most of his first game of the season with 2 interceptions, returning his first one for a touchdown which proved to be critical factor in the game’s outcome. He was named Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon Sports for his performance.

Key Moments

As mention above, Walker returned his first interception 100 yards for the game’s first touchdown to give the Heels a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. The Aztecs responded by scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 21-7 lead in the third quarter. If Walker does not make that interception, the Aztecs would likely have scored and instead of a 14-7 halftime deficit the Heels would have probably been down 21-0 or at least 17-0 at the half not to mention a potentially 28-0 midway through the third. Walker’s interception return was the biggest play of the game because it kept the game from getting away from the Heels when their offense was struggling in the first half.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

The Aztecs were no strangers to come from behind wins in the fourth quarter, having comeback in five of their wins last season and it appeared that they were about to do it again until senior leader free safety Tim Scott stepped in front of Quinn Kaehler pass and picked it off to save the Heels while setting off a celebration in Kenan Stadium.

Let us know what you thought were the key players and moments from the game in the comments below!