Last week, there were very legitimate arguments for a couple different people to get our player of the game. This week, I don’t think you can really choose anyone besides one specific player.
That’s not to say other players didn’t have good games. However, Sam Howell has to be player of the game for UNC’s 28-25 win over Miami.
The freshman quarterback had another good game to start his college career, going 16-24 for 274 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Those final numbers are only part of the reason he’s getting the nod for this, though.
The Tar Heels got off to a lightning quick start, leading 17-3 after the first quarter. Over the next two quarters, the Hurricanes started to reel them back in. Going into halftime, UNC only led by four, and after three quarters, it was only by one. Then after a couple drives in the fourth where neither team cashed in, Miami scored to take their first lead of the game, 25-20 with 4:38 left.
When Carolina got the ball back, a Javonte Williams run got them up near midfield. However, two of the next three plays ended in sacks, leaving the Heels with a 4th and 17. Howell then kept the drive alive by getting the ball to an open Rontavius Groves for a first down.
After another first down and a short gain on the next two plays, Howell very nearly connected on a beautiful throw to Beau Corrales. Had the reciever come down with the catch, it would have been a touchdown and a Tar Heel lead. Turns out, we just had to wait a couple plays.
Michael Carter then rushed for a first down, setting UNC up at the 10. Then, this happened.
Howell connected with Dazz Newsome for the lead, the defense held just enough for Miami to miss a field goal, and UNC had itself a famous win.
Other people worthy of some praise include Javonte Williams, who went for 76 yards on 10 carries. Without his yardage, UNC’s team total would be just 21 at an average of less than a yard per carry.
Newsome caught the go-ahead touchdown, but Dyami Brown was probably UNC’s best on the day, making four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.
The defense didn’t have a great day on the whole, but Tomon Fox was good, recording three sacks. There was also Jeremiah Gemmel, who led the team with 14 tackles, eight solo.
While last week’s was a bit less dramatic, Sam Howell now has two fourth quarter comeback wins in two games. A metric ton of stuff can happen between now and whenever he leaves Chapel Hill. However, it’s hard to not feel like the start of something special.