Well, that at least went how it was supposed to go. It kinda sorta started out like déjà vu all over again, with the Carolina rush defense looking totally beatable and going into the second quarter tied 7-7. Eventually, the Heels righted the ship and did what was expected against an FCS opponent, handling Campbell 59-7.
As always, any analysis of what was learned versus a non-power five foe comes with a grain of salt. Having stated that caveat, though, here are a few takeaways from the shellacking of the Fighting Camels from Buies Creek.
Omarion Hampton is a beast
... and his offensive line has his back. Literally, as evidenced in the second quarter when he was wrapped up at the line of scrimmage and the hog mollies proceeded to push the pile five plus yards into the end zone for a score.
In his fourth straight game of 100+ rushing yards, Hampton also had another score on a big time run of 54 yards (and should have had a third if it hadn’t been called back for a hold) and tallied 144 total on the day in less than four quarters and only 15 carries, an average of 9.6 yards per carry! The sophomore running back has 923 yards and 10 TD’s on the season.
For an offense where incoming defenses are keying on the passing game and Drake Maye, Hampton, alongside British Brooks as a change-up, provides a great balance and can create all kinds of havoc for the other side of the ball,
Special teams and decision-making needs some work
What is happening with this phase of the game?
The pooch punt from Drake Maye, while not terrible, only wound up netting the Heels about 20 yards in field position. UNC gave up a long kickoff return to near midfield that eventually led to Campbell’s only touchdown. The squib kick at the end of the first half was an interesting call but it worked out as an onside recovery.
However, the most egregious mishap was the miscommunication on the sidelines at the end of the first half. With the Tar Heel offense driving inside the red zone, the clock stopped at :09 to move the chains, and with no timeouts, there was confusion on the sidelines that resulted in the field goal unit running onto the field when the call was to spike the ball. Instead, the clock ran to zero and points were left on the field.
It didn’t come back to haunt UNC today, but in a closer contest with stiffer competition, that could be a backbreaker.
Carolina has its QB for next season (maybe?)
Assuming Drake Maye heads for the NFL next season, Tar Heel fans got a pretty good look at his backup and likely starter next year thanks to the large lead. Conner Harrell showed off his wheels with a 61-yard TD scamper. Dude is fast.
The 3-star recruit from Alabama also displayed his dual threat ability by completing a 41-yard dime to fellow promising freshman WR Chris Culliver for a score in the second half.