A brutal first-half offensive performance made it look like Kenny Pickett might finish the game in a ballcap and jacket with a back-up handing off the ball before the fourth quarter. Carolina couldn’t get anything going as Pitt forced 3-and-outs on 4/5 of UNC’s drives, three of those drives ended with a sack.
Things were grim.
But out of thin air, and a bad slip by Pitt cornerback Damarri Mathis, Antoine Green pulled out a 77-yard touchdown catch (Carolina’s longest catch of the season) to put the Heels on the board.
In the second half, Carolina’s defense bowed up and held the Panthers scoreless, giving the offense a chance to find their footing. The Tar Heels were moving the ball and getting first downs, when all of a sudden, on a beautiful pro-level pass to Kamari Morales, the tight end dropped a sure-fire touchdown. Momentum could have been lost, but on the next play, Howell came back to the middle of the end zone and found Green for his second touchdown of the night, and his fourth in three games.
Antoine Green finished the night with three catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns, best for yardage and scores for both teams. Green’s touchdowns -- when UNC could barely get a first down, and right after the let-down of nearly scoring -- were during critical portions of the game.
UNC’s offense has begged for another receiver to support Josh Downs for a while, and Antoine Green appears to be the vertical threat needed to give him space underneath. With touchdowns against Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and Pitt, he has shown that he can score against the best opposition in the ACC. Hopefully his form will carry through to help Carolina beat Wofford and NC State to close out the season.