Coming into their game with Boston College, the North Carolina football team held a record of 1-5 and had their backs placed firmly against the wall. Required to win five of their last six games to become bowl eligible, UNC was facing a must-win situation against the Boston College Eagles (3-4, 1-3 ACC).
Carolina responded exactly how they needed to, breaking a four game losing streak and beating the Eagles 34-10.
Quarterback Bryn Renner threw for two touchdowns and 227 yards, while only throwing three incompletions in 21 attempts. Change-of-pace quarterback Marquise Williams was also productive in his role, gaining 110 yards on the day with one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown.
After Boston College fumbled on the second play of the game, UNC took over at the Eagles’ 35-yard-line. Five plays later, on a ten yard pass from Renner to wide receiver Ryan Switzer, Carolina scored the first points of the game. However, the first quarter was all downhill from there for the Tar Heels, as they botched the ensuing extra point and were down 7-6 after the first 15 minutes.
Once the second quarter started, UNC began to crack down on defense as Boston College only scored on one more drive the rest of the game – a field goal with just over two minutes left in the 4th quarter when the game was already out of reach.
The UNC offense was also very productive, scoring at least one touchdown in every quarter and putting the game away late in the 3rd quarter when Williams threw a 17 yard touchdown to wide receiver Bug Howard – his second touchdown catch of the day.
Going forward, the Tar Heels are now 2-5 on the year and boast a 1-3 record in the ACC. Carolina still has a long way to go in order to become bowl eligible at the end of the year, needing to now win four of their last five games. However, this achievement is a lot more realistic than most would think, as their schedule is significantly easier over the second half of the season.
Looking at the remaining schedule, it would appear that the toughest game remaining for UNC would be a home contest against the already bowl eligible Duke Blue Devils, who have a 6-2 record on the year.
Even though the victory over Boston College was exactly what North Carolina needed to get their season headed in the right direction, they will still need to improve their defense against the run. UNC let up over five yards per carry against the Eagles, and Boston College ran for over 200 yards on the game, despite the fact that BC was trailing most of the game.
Next weekend, the Tar Heels travel to Raleigh to play North Carolina State at 12:30pm. The Wolfpack have struggled so far this season, with a 0-4 record in conference play.
Nevertheless, both teams should be pumped up and ready to go, as this rivalry has increased in its’ intensity over the last few seasons. North Carolina will need to put together another win, like they did Saturday against Boston College, if they want to keep their season moving in the right direction.