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UNC bounces back with big win over Campbell

If confidence was the goal, maybe this was enough.

NCAA Football: Campbell at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC needed an easy game in the worst way after two disappointing losses to Virginia and Georgia Tech. In the very early going against Campbell, it did not look certain that an easy game would be in the cards. Thankfully, something seemed to click in the second quarter and Carolina was able to roll from there for a 59-7 win over the Camels.

They were able to shake off a slow start (as much as allowing the game to be 7-7 can be considered slow) and put up 50 unanswered points. That is at least a positive step for a defense that really let down their end of the bargain in both losses. Gene Chizik’s unit had five sacks and recovered three fumbles. The offense was able to score 14 points off Campbell’s turnovers.

Drake Maye threw for four touchdowns and 244 yards before being pulled when the game was safely in hand. Tez Walker caught two passes from Maye that both went for touchdowns with JJ Jones and John Copenhaver hauling in the other two scores.

While the offense through the air looked good, Omarion Hampton was also a force on the ground. He racked up 144 yards and two touchdowns with his longest being a 54-yard dash to the end zone. Maye’s replacement, Conner Harrell, ran for a 61-yard score himself. He also hit Chris Culliver for a 41-yard reception for a touchdown that showed off his arm.

No one is going to give the Heels flowers for beating Campbell, but this game was definitely more about clearing their heads after the disappointment of the last two weeks. If they needed this game to purge all the demons of those letdowns, maybe this was enough to do that.

Carolina will try to maintain possession of the Victory Bell next week when they welcome Duke to Chapel Hill.