This player of the game pick is dedicated to the one and only Booger McFarland. From North Carolina’s first offensive series, the former NFL defensive tackle seemed to think the ONLY Tar Heel player worth mentioning was Anthony Ratliff-Williams.
North Carolina was FINALLY victorious. In what became a back-and-forth affair against Pitt, the Tar Heels used great plays on each side of the ball to secure the win. It was, in every since of the phrase, a complete team effort.
There are a few ways one could go with this award. Nathan Elliot, the Tar Heels’ third string quarterback, started his first game. It was a very solid game throwing 20-31 with 235 yards and two touchdowns. Cole Holcomb seemed to be everywhere on the field, and most of the secondary made the plays they needed to make.
However, there was only one player that made play...after play...after play...after play...
Receiver, Returner, and Passer...Oh, My!
Anthony Ratliff-Williams got off to an incredibly hot start when he took the opening kickoff 98 yards to the house. In just 16 seconds, North Carolina was leading 7-0 over Pitt and analysts Booger McFarland and Joey Galloway found a talking point they couldn’t give up the rest of the game: get the ball to Ratliff-Williams.
They were right.
On North Carolina’s second offensive possession, Elliot found Ratliff-Williams deep in Pitt territory. Ratliff-Williams made what some have already dubbed as a Top-10 Catch of the Year. Any explanation won’t do it justice, so just watch this beautiful snag for yourself:
The standout wide receiver wasn’t finished yet...
After three consecutive punts, and surrendering a 14-3 lead, the Tar Heels were needing something big before the half. Ratliff-Williams began the drive with a solid 22-yard kickoff return. He also finished the drive with a 35-yard touchdown PASS to fellow wide receiver Josh Cabrera. The score would put North Carolina ahead 21-17.
Little trickeration: UNC’s Anthony Ratliff-Williams tosses it to Josh Cabrera for a 35 yard TD. pic.twitter.com/lDmSxVoJse— Ross Martin (@RossMartin_IC) November 10, 2017
Oh, by the way, Ratliff-Williams is 3-4 passing on the season with 86 yards and two touchdowns. That’s an NCAA Passer Efficiency Rating of 420.6.
North Carolina's Anthony Ratliff-Williams joins Penn State's Saquon Barkley as the only players with a passing TD and a kickoff return TD in the same game this season. pic.twitter.com/qRSuik58Kv— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2017
Ratliff-Williams STILL wasn’t finished...
North Carolina found itself down and needing a big score midway through the fourth quarter. The offense was rolling and had made its way near the goal line. Elliot found Ratliff-Williams in the end zone for the go-ahead score that eventually became the game-winner.
ARW bout to start kicking field goals pic.twitter.com/olE9WKSFoL— UNC-Barstool (@UNCBarstool) November 10, 2017
Overall, the sophomore finished the game with 230 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. The future is bright for this young man.
Relive Anthony Ratliff-Williams’ big game against Pitt with North Carolina radio analyst Jones Angell on the call: