UNC Football: Quick Hitters – North Carolina at Georgia State

Sep 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Omarion Hampton (28) runs for a touchdown against the Georgia State Panthers in the second half at Center Parc Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Omarion Hampton (28) runs for a touchdown against the Georgia State Panthers in the second half at Center Parc Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Isaac Schade presents Quick Hitters from UNC Football’s 35-28 road win over Georgia State on Saturday afternoon.


Isaac’s Instant Reaction

  • It was a second straight uninspiring performance for North Carolina on the road against a Sun Belt opponent, but the Tar Heels did just enough to leave Atlanta with a 35-28 victory over Georgia State, and, more importantly, a 3-0 record heading into an off week.
  • Carolina opened up a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter and seemed to be in the driver’s seat, but then surrendered 25 unanswered points to allow the Panthers to take a 28-21 lead late in the third quarter.
  • UNC has surrendered leads of 20 and 18 in back-to-back weeks.
  • While the defense did give up 28 points, the offense did them zero favors. Taking away the kneel down right before the half, the offense gave up turnovers on three straight possessions (downs, interception, fumble) plus another lost fumble later in the game.
  • Carolina’s turnover issues were heightened because Georgia State didn’t have any turnovers.
  • The defense, much to their credit, only allowed three points off those four turnovers and forced punts on Georgia State’s final four possessions, the last two of which were three-and-outs.
  • So this is what the Tar Heels have to figure out over the next two weeks: How do we not only establish a lead but then maintain and expand on it?
  • True freshman Omarion Hampton recorded his second 100-yard rushing game of his young career. He additionally added two more touchdowns, giving him five on the season.
  • Hampton did have a freshman mistake when he fielded a kickoff at the two with his momentum carrying him out-of-bounds. Had he let the ball go it would have bounced into the end zone for a touchback or out of bounds for a penalty.
  • On the flip side, UNC had a positive special teams play when Myles Murphy was able to block a field goal attempt.
  • I forgot from last year’s UNC-Georgia State game how…ummm…fiery Georgia State’s coach, Shawn Elliott, is. He’s a fun character to watch on the sideline.
  • Ben Kiernan had to punt as many times in just the first quarter (2) as he did in each of the first two games.
  • Speaking of Kiernan, he had a beautiful field-flipping punt from his own 28 with the Tar Heels clinging to a 21-20 lead with 6:00 left in the third quarter. Georgia State’s returner elected not to field the kick which took a Carolina bounce and was downed at the two-yard line.
  • A week after struggling with penalties, UNC mostly reined in those types of errors, finishing with just four for 50 yards. Georgia State, on the hand, was afflicted with penalty issues – 12 for 87 yards.
  • Carolina’s penalty situation should have only been three for 35 yards were it not for a silly post-play personal foul on DeAndre Boykins. The whole play was, frankly, odd. Travis Shaw was running on the field late, as the ball was snapped. He never got into position and had to basically run straight at the quarterback. On the back end of the play, Boykins was pushed from behind and got caught retaliating. Those types of errors are unacceptable.
  • Drake Maye had another productive first half, finishing 13-16 for 189 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. For the first time this season, he came back down to earth in the second half. He threw his first pick of the season on the first pass attempt of the second half and ultimately finished 6-8 for 95 yards, zero touchdowns, and the interception. To be fair, some of the statistical drop-off can be attributed to game flow, as the Tar Heels found success on the ground and then ultimately stayed there to grind out the clock.
  • Maye’s second touchdown was a beautiful pass to the back of the end zone with just enough air for Kobe Paysour to run up under it and make a diving catch to his outside shoulder. Beautiful play from the roommates.
  • Credit to the offensive line, who struggled early but was able to create some nice space for the running backs as the game wore on.
  • Josh Downs missed his second straight game, RB Caleb Hood was out, as was OL Spencer Rolland. Additionally Cedric Gray, Myles Murphy, and DJ Jones each missed time in the game with injuries.
  • In a year where it looked like the RB room might be the deepest position on the team, British Brooks was last before the season started, Hood was out today, Jones missed time hobbled a bit, and Elijah Green hasn’t really been in the rotation. The two true freshmen, Hampton and George Pettaway, could very well wind up as the main backs.
  • The Tar Heels will regroup, hopefully get Josh Downs healthy, and make a plan before hosting the Irish in a couple of weeks.

Mack Brown Postgame Press Conference

Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina football game. Next up is an off week followed by a home game against Notre Dame on Saturday, September 24. Kickoff and TV are currently TBA.

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