Once again, Lucy pulled the football away.
You might think after a game that saw Carolina flush away a huge amount of the goals they had going into the season, it’d be difficult to name a player of the game. The thing is, when you sort through the stats and see a game where just about every wide receiver had multiple bad drops, the defense made one of the worst offenses in the ACC look like a juggernaut, and the potential Heisman candidate quarterback looked off in several plays — when someone stands out they stand out.
That's where Devontez Walker lands. On a night when it seemed like no one could hold onto the ball, Walker had a sterling stat line of 11 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. he should have had more, except a 50+ yard score was wiped out by a pretty bad holding call on Kobe Paysour. In essence, Paysour was called for being too tall.
The one touchdown that Tez did get credit for was yet another highlight film play on both sides. The pass was in a perfect spot for Tez to catch it, and Tez was in the perfect position to make the play.
Walker tried his best to help out a quarterback that didn’t have his best night, but also Walker was the only receiver who seemed like he could be trusted to catch the ball. It’s not that Drake Maye was accurate all night — several passes seemed to be just off but you could sense a lot of that was frustration over the fact that his normally sure-handed receivers wouldn’t hold onto the ball. Nate McCollum easily was the worst on the night as he had several momentum-killing drops.
Omarion Hampton deserves a shoutout because even on a night when he was severely underutilized, he still had 19 rushes for 112 yards, a 5.9 yard per rush average. Drake Maye even when he was off, still had a 24/48 347 two touchdown night, and his only interception came at the very end of the game when he was under pressure. Bryson Nesbit also deserves credit for his touchdown catch that was a short throw and all him the rest of the way.
All that said, on a dismal night for Carolina that changes the course of the program in so many ways, Tez Walker at least showed again why Carolina fought hard to get him to play. It’s just such a shame his teammates couldn’t help him continue what was setting up to be a once-in-a-generation season.
This, though, is Carolina football.