It feels a bit weird to give a player of the game honor to a quarterback who threw for 276 yards on 40 attempts, but at the same time, he feels like the correct choice. Now free to play without any redshirt-burning concerns, Cade Fortin played the entire game for UNC and helped them nearly come away with a win against NC State.
Just going off the box score, it seems like Fortin struggled in the first half, completing just 7-21 passes for 61 yards and an interception. However, that doesn’t really tell the story.
Several of the incomplete passes were drops on balls that the Tar Heel receivers should have come down with. Even the interception should have been caught by a Carolina receiver. Just seeing so many passes being thrown past the first down marker was a nice change from what UNC has done most of this season.
All of that paid off in the second half when Fortin nearly got Carolina over the line with a win. In the second half, he was 12-19 for 215 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also ran in for another touchdown, which gave UNC a 28-21 lead, the first time they were ahead all day.
Of course, the game still ended in a loss, because we can’t have nice things in the 2018 North Carolina Tar Heels football season. It’s hard to put too much of the late game struggles on Fortin. He is, after all, still just playing in his fourth game.
There’s a lot to think about in Tar Heel football world in the next couple days. Plenty of people are really hoping to see coaching changes. Who knows, something might’ve happened by the time this post goes up. (Probably not.)
One thing that seems indisputable after Saturday’s game is that UNC appears to have a legit quarterback in Cade Fortin. And, hey! He kept his redshirt!