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Spring Game - Player of the Game: Jace Ruder

Ruder had the most impressive stat line of any quarterback in Saturday’s spring game.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only so much you can learn from the spring game. It’s not nothing, but you also can’t make wholesale judgement on a game that isn’t being played at full speed with full contact.

That being said, it was still college football adjacent. There’s an excitement around UNC football after the coaching change and the beginning of the second Mack Brown era. So let’s give a player of the game for the spring game. In terms of pure stats, it’s hard to look past anyone but Jace Ruder.

Of the three quarterbacks, Ruder was credited with the most yards, finishing with a total of 143 on 5-7 attempts. He also scored a rushing touchdown that capped off a 65-yard drive that he led down the field.

One caveat about those totals is that a decent chunk of his passing yards came on a 77-yard catch from Carl Tucker. Many of those yards came after the catch, inflating Ruder’s yardage. However, he does get credit for being the most efficient in terms of completion percentage.

Not that it means anything in the long run, but Ruder was the third quarterback to get into the game on Saturday, so read into that if you want. Besides him, Sam Howell led the game’s opening drive, and went 10-16 for 131 yards. He threw the game’s only passing touchdown, but also the only interception. Cade Fortin was 2-6 for 39 yards.

Other impressive performances belong to running back Javonte Williams, who averaged over eight yards a carry and scored a touchdown. Corey Bell Jr. had a game-high five catches for 67 yards. On the defensive side of things, there was the excellently named freshman Storm Duck. who had a 44-yard fumble return touchdown. Dominique Ross had the interception of Howell, while Hunter Sheridan tied for the game high in tackles while also recording a sack.

Again, reading too much into spring game results isn’t advisable. But, hey! It was football!