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UNC vs. Syracuse - Player of the Game: Dazz Newsome

Newsome’s punt return touchdown was one of a couple big players he made against the Orange.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Just like last week, UNC left plenty of points on the table, helping turn what should have been a win into a frustrating loss. Also just like last week, there were some genuinely good performances that will be less fondly remembered because of the what the final score ended up being. Dazz Newsome’s performance on Saturday was one of those.

The sophomore receiver corralled seven catches for 90 yards and one touchdown. Said touchdown was the end of a good drive to start the game for the Tar Heels.

Also, this became a “winnable game” in part due to another play Newsome made. After his initial touchdown, Syracuse took control for the rest of the first half, and eventually took a 20-7 lead early in the second.

After the Tar Heels cut it to 20-14, thanks in part to a Newsome catch, the defense made a stop and got Syracuse to punt. Dazz was sent out to return the punt, and this happened:

The extra point after the touchdown gave the Heels their first lead in the second half. The touchdown seemed to swing things in UNC’s favor, as they got a stop on the Orange’s next drive, and then hit a field goal to open up a seven-point lead.

Of course, things eventually swung back the other way, and UNC lost. This is Carolina football, and we can’t have nice things for very long.

Other players to get some praise include Antonio Williams. The running back went for 116 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Ratliff-Williams had nine catches for 79 yards. The defense was good again, especially against a solid Syracuse offense. Tyler Powell had two sacks. Myles Dorn had 14 tackles. Patrice Rene had, what could have been a game-winning interception, if the play-calling on offense after that wasn’t as weird.

Had the last two games just gone slightly differently, this wouldn’t seem like a lost season. However, it does, and that’s unfortunate, because there are some legit players on this team.