UNC bounced back in spectacular fashion from the 17-13 loss to South Carolina by rolling over North Carolina A&T 53-14.
After a week plus of handwringing regarding Elijah Hood's usage versus South Carolina, UNC made no secret Hood was going to get a lion's share of carries in the first half. After a Romar Morris run on the first play of the game, Hood would get the ball on UNC's next rushing plays. One of those plays was a one yard run for Hood's first touchdown of the season. UNC broke out the unconventional extra point formation then threw a touchdown pass out of it for an 8-0 lead. On UNC's next possession, Marquise Williams went to the air for a 41 yard touchdown strike Kendrick Singleton to put the Heels up two scores.
With UNC firmly in command, Fedora broke out the quarterback rotation from last season. After Shakeel Rashad force a fumble and Sam Smiley returned it to the Aggie two yard line, Mitch Trubisky entered the game to hand the ball off to Hood twice, the second resulting in UNC's third touchdown.
At this stage UNC's offense was rolling with either quarterback in the game and the Tar Heel defense got opportunistic. Rashad's interception on A&T's 4th and 10 play from the UNC 31 ended one Aggie drive. On the next A&T possession M.J. Stewart picked off Kwashaun Quick after the Aggie quarterback had been pressured out of the pocket to shutdown another offensive series.
UNC immediately capitalized with Trubisky finding high school teammate Brandon Fritts from two yards out to take 29-0 lead. Fritts would also feel the love from Williams on UNC's next possession snagging a one yard toss from the senior quarterback to put the Heels up 36-0.
The second half opened with a highly efficient drive from a Williams led unit. The Tar Heels needed just 1:53 to make it 43-0. Williams recorded his longest run of the season thus far with an 18 yard touchdown scamper. After another defensive stop, UNC's offense stalled at the Aggie 31 yard line but the newly confident Nick Weiler nailed a career best 48 yard field goal to put the Heels ahead 46-0. With the shutout still intact and UNC well ahead, Trubisky took over for the rest of the evening. He made the most of the next drive with a designed QB run from 35 yards out to score his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Late in the third quarter, NC A&T finally broke through with a one yard touchdown run from Quick. The Aggies made it two scoring possessions in a row with Quick hitting Khris Gardin for a 38 yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.
UNC finished the game with 463 yards of total offense for 6.5 yards per play. That is slightly below what the Heels averaged versus South Carolina. However a 5-6 night in the red zone made for a more productive game in terms of points.
Hood led all rushers with 56 yards for a 3.5 yards per carry. However Hood got 16 of UNC's 44 rushing attempts. No other Tar Heel carried the ball more than four times. Multiple receivers registered at least 40 yards led by Singleton's 57, Swtizer with 46 and Davis with 40. Williams bounced back from his three interception game last week to go 15-20 for 211 yards and a pair of touchdowns plus 53 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. Trubisky had 37 yards on 5-7 passing and touchdown to go with 33 yards rushing and a score.
The Heels move to 1-1 and will face Illinois next week at noon.