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UNC 50 Wake Forest 14: Recap

UNC overcame a rough start from Marquise Williams to throttle Wake Forest 50-14.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't the start UNC was looking for coming off the big win versus Georgia Tech. After moving the ball on two Elijah Hood carries for 19 yards, a miscommunication led to Marquise Williams throwing a pass nowhere near a UNC receiver and directly into the hands of Wake Forest's Brad Watson. After Wake missed a 47 FG attempt, Williams' next pass on UNC's second possession was tipped and picked off by Demetrius Kemp.

Wake didn't waste the next opportunity with John Wolford hitting a 21 yard pass play to Cotez Lewis inside the UNC ten. Wolford found Cam Serigne from one yard out to put the Demon Deacons up 7-0 with 7:07 left in the first quarter. UNC again failed to get traction on its third possession but forced another stop to get the ball back headed to second quarter.

The game's second period was a whole new world for Williams and the offense. On the first play of the second quarter Williams hit Mack Hollins on a deep bomb for a 57 yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7. It was then UNC's turn to force a turnover with Shakeel Rashad shaking the ball loose from Deacon running back Tyler Bell to give the Tar Heels the ball at the Wake Forest 34. UNC wasted little time taking advantage back-to-back runs from Williams, the latter resulting in a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

Elijah Hood got into the act on UNC's next possession accounting for all 65 yards of UNC's yardage on the drive with runs of 29 and 36 yards to put the Tar Heels up 22-7. The Demon Deacons answered to get within eight with 6:12 left in the game. UNC responded with a 61 yard pass play to Austin Proehl followed by a T.J. Logan one yard run as UNC went into the locker room up 29-14.

In the second half much of the third quarter bogged down and included a bizarre turn of events. After UNC forced a Wake Forest punt on the first possession of the second half, Ryan Switzer fielded a punt and acted as though he was taking a fair catch except he never signaled. He caught the ball then took off running for a return. Wake responded slowly thinking it was a fair catch. The return went all the way to the one but was blown dead followed by a penalty on Switzer for delay of game because he ran after signaling a fair catch. Except this is what Switzer did.

Swtizer did such a great job with his nonchalant catch that it fooled even the officials into think it was a fair catch despite there being no signal.

It ultimately didn't matter. After UNC failed to get offensive traction, a stop on 4th and 3 gave the Heels the ball back with 2:41 left in the quarter. Williams went 4-4 for 36 yards and a touchdown to Hollins who caught the ball as he was being interfered with and after it bounced off the Wake Forest defender's helmet. UNC would score on the next offensive possession as Williams hit Hollins for a third touchdown reception this one from for 42 yards. Following another defensive stop, Wake Forest punter Alex Kinal put his knee down attempting to scoop up a bad snap resulting in a turnover on downs to give UNC the ball at the Wake Forest 12 yard line.

Mitch Trubisky entered the game and scampered 10 yards on 3rd and 8 to put UNC up 50-14 and conclude the scoring for the game.

Despite a horrid start, Williams recovered for a nice stat line. Williams was 3-7 for 38 yards and two interceptions after the first quarter. Over the remainder of the game he was 11-13 for 244 yards and three touchdowns while running for 59 yards and a touchdown. Elijah Hood had another highly efficient game racking up 101 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Mack Hollins led all receivers with 103 yards on three catches, all for touchdowns.

For the game the Tar Heels had 538 yards of total offense with 478 of those coming after the first quarter.

UNC moves to 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1997 and is 5-1 overall with Virginia coming to town next weekend.