UNC Football: Howell’s historic performance leads Tar Heels over Wake Forest

Nov 14, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) reacts after scoring a tochdown in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) reacts after scoring a tochdown in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The UNC football program put together a come-from-behind victory against Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon.

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Behind a historic performance from quarterback Sam Howell, the UNC football team battled back from a 19-point deficit to defeat Wake Forrest on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.

In a game that was full of high-quality offense, the two ACC programs combined for a total of 1,348 yards and 15 touchdowns. In the end, the Tar Heels, behind Howell’s outing, were able to do enough to secure the victory.

It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin in this contest. After the Tar Heels were stopped on fourth down in their opening drive, Wake Forrest conducted a 9 play, 62-yard scoring drive to take an early 7-0 lead.

Although the Tar Heels faced an early deficit, they would respond right away.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Howell would connect with Dazz Newsome for a 75-yard touchdown to tie the score.

The Tar Heels would respond with a field goal on their next drive, but the back-and-forth offensive battle would continue.

In the first half alone, there was seven total lead changes. The two squads combined for 782 total yards of offense through two quarters, which is the most in any FBS game during the 2020 season.

With the Tar Heels trailing 35-24, a possible game-changing play occurred at the end of the first half.

The Tar Heels were trying to put some points on the board heading into the game’s final two quarters. Howell attempted to connect with Dyami Brown near the goal line. In a battle for the football, it was ruled that Wake Forrest corner Ja’Sir Taylor came up with the football, ending the Tar Heels hopes for points.

At the start of the third quarter, it appeared as if Wake Forrest was ready to put this game out of reach.

The Demon Deacons scored on their first two possessions of the second half, extending their lead to 45-24. Although the lead was a game-high 19 points, the Tar Heels offense was not going out without a fight.

Over the next six possessions, the Tar Heels put together five touchdown scoring drives.

During this span of possessions, Howell added four touchdowns (three passing) to help the Tar Heels regain the lead. A Javonte Williams 15-yard touchdown run with 2:39 left in the game to put the game out of reach.

Overall, Howell was the star of the game for the UNC football program. The sophomore signal-caller completed 32-45 passes for 550 yards and six passing touchdowns. Howell also carried the ball seven times for 21 yards and a score.

On Saturday, the Monroe, NC native not only made Tar Heels history, but tied an impressive ACC record as well.

Howell became the first Tar Heel quarterback to throw for 500 yards in a single game. He became the sixth quarterback in school history to throw for six scores in a single game.

Additionally, Howell’s seven total touchdowns in a game is the most ever by a Tar Heels player. The original school record was set by Kelvin Bryant in 1981. He became the third FBS player since 2000 to throw for six touchdowns and also score a rushing touchdown in the same game.

Additional Game Notes:

-The Tar Heels had two 100-yard receivers on the day. Dazz Newsome hauled in 10 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, while Dyami Brown had eight catches for 163 yards and two scores of his own.

-Javonte Williams led the Tar Heels in rushing, as he tallied 101 yards on 13 carries. The junior tailback scored his 18th touchdown of the season, which tied him for the third-most ever by a Tar Heel in a single season.

-Offense was the story of this game, but senior Chazz Surratt had another impressive performance on Saturday afternoon. The senior linebacker had 14 tackles (7 solo) and picked up a huge sack in the fourth quarter.

After this huge come-from-behind victory, the Tar Heels (6-2) will now look ahead to arguably the biggest game on their regular season schedule. Mack Brown’s team will have a “bye week” this upcoming week before taking on No. 2 ranked Notre Dame in a huge ACC contest.

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