As he has been a couple other times this season, one of very few bright spots for UNC was Anthony Ratliff-Williams.
Once again the offense struggled, the defense kept them in the game for as long as they could, but then fell apart at the end and couldn’t keep it up. Throughout all that, the one player to contribute a lot on offense was Ratliff-Williams.
He didn’t have quite as dynamic a game in all areas as he had at other times this year, finishing with just 35 yards in kickoff returns, and no pass attempts or anything weird like that. However, in the receiving game, he was the one real threat that was able to consistently do stuff.
Ratliff-Williams finished with five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown catch came not long after a State touchdown to open the scoring in the first quarter. The ensuing extra point put the Tar Heels up one after State had missed their PAT.
The game eventually went downhill, but it really had nothing to do with Ratliff-Williams. The offense overall struggled, but that was down to inaccuracy and an inability to get a running game going.
This season will not be remember fondly by UNC fans. Things were looking a bit iffy and then injuries ruined any chance this team had to compete for anything. At a certain point, Ratliff-Williams looked to be one of very few weapons this team had on offense. In the final three games of this season, he had a combined 15 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
None of this is to say he was flawless this season, or even flawless on Saturday. In a season like this, you’ll take small wins where you can get them.
Next year is a pretty big one for the UNC program as a whole. It looks like in Anthony Ratliff-Williams, they may have found an offensive weapon they can trust with still a lot unknown about 2018.