clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UNC vs. Pitt: Player(s) of the Game

It was a team effort as the Tar Heels picked up their first win of the season.

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

While the defense had their moments, especially allowing just seven points in the second half, UNC’s win over Pitt was due a lot to a much improved effort from the offense.

The Tar Heels amassed 486 yards on the day, scoring 38 points in the process. That averaged out to nearly seven yards per play. After often failing to finish off drives in their opening two games, the offense came away with points in four of their five trips into the red zone.

Often last season, the offense would only get truly good games from one player. Anthony Ratliff-Williams had a bunch. The running backs each had at least one starring role. What was impressive about this effort was that several players are all deserving of praise.

After two sub-par games, Nathan Elliott does deserve some credit for his play. He wasn’t asked to do a ton, but for the first time this season, he wasn’t making a ton of mistakes. His final line of 22-31 for 313 yards and two touchdowns looks good on the surface. He probably still isn’t the best option going forward, but if we’re going to go off on him when he plays badly, we’ll give him credit for this game.

If you to restrict this to one player, Antonio Williams would be possibly the best choice. He bounced back from his targeting ejection two weeks ago with 110 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. The touchdowns were the first Tar Heel scores on the day and kept the scoreboard moving when the two teams were trading points back and forth.

In the receiving game, Dazz Newsome had his breakout game, catching six balls for 110 yards. Ratliff-Williams also had a typically good game, hauling in four catches for 84 yards. He also got a carry and converted a key first down on the final drive as UNC was trying to run out the clock.

In front of all them, the offensive line also had a good day. Pitt recorded just one sack and only two quarterback hurries.

UNC does seem to have a weird voodoo curse on Pitt, so only so much can be taken away from this win. However, for the first time all season, the offense played genuinely well.