Carolina let Illinois march down the field on the very first drive of the game but stood tall with their backs to the goal line. Illinois did not make the game very competitive after that. Carolina moved the ball pretty easily in the first half, taking a 20-7 lead into the break. Marquise Williams was shaky at times in the first half throwing an ill-advised interception while also missing a few throws. Elijah Hood and Marquise Williams looks good as runners and Larry Fedora coached a great first half.
The Heels started much the same in the second half--after a poor first drive the defense let Illinois move the ball deep into Carolina territory but the Illini missed the 45 yard FG to keep the score 20-7. Carolina had to punt after picking up one first down on their next drive but the Illini went three and out on their ensuing possession. Carolina never looked back afterward. The Heels scored on their next three drives before tacking on Ryan Switzer's first punt return touchdown since his freshman season. Carolina was on cruise control throughout the fourth quarter--neither Marquise Williams or Jeff Schoettmer played on drives that started in the fourth quarter.
Carolina hit several milestones in this game. Ryan Switzer had the school's second longest punt return on his 85 yard touchdown. Switzer also broke the school record for most punt return yards in a game with 168 overturning a record that had stood since 1951. Austin Proehl also caught his first career touchdown pass in this game and Carolina had two players with 100 yards rushing for the first time since 2010. Quinshad Davis set the school record for receiving touchdowns with 22, passing Hakeem Nicks.
Marquise Williams: 17-24 203 Yards Passing 3 TD 1 INT 105 Yards Rushing on 9 Carries
Elijah Hood: 129 Yards on 16 Carries 1 TD
Ryan Switzer: 3 Catches for 50 Yards 1 TD 168 Return Yards 1 TD
Quinshad Davis: 5 Catches (most on team) 56 Yards (most on team) 1 TD
Total Yards: UNC 471 ILL 399
Rushing: UNC 254 ILL 227
Passing: UNC 217 ILL 172