North Carolina Football: 3 takeaways from season-opening win over Syracuse

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North Carolina football

Sam Howell, North Carolina football (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

3. North Carolina offense got off to a sluggish start

Although, a penalized drive, it was a passing touchdown that got things going five minutes into the game for the Tar Heels. After that however, North Carolina’s offense couldn’t get off the ground.

Multiple drives stalling and two turnovers in the first half gave the Orange golden opportunities. Sam Howell was unable to connect on big plays with his main targets in Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome consistently, with the longest play in the passing game was a mere 22 yards.

Returning 1,000 yard rusher Michael Carter was held in check and big credit to that was Syracuse’s defensive line dominating North Carolina’s offensive line. Although not many sacks were recorded, it was clear that Sam Howell felt under duress constantly.

Sam Howell lead college football last season with 30-plus yard touchdowns on 15 different occasions. That shows to how impressive Syracuse’s defense was as Howell only had (blank) amount of yards off of (blank) amount of completions.

Batted balls at the line of scrimmage, forced throws, and incompletions were forced by the pressure that Syracuse brought and North Carolina just could not figure out a way to stop it.

Toward the second half however, Sam Howell would start creating consistent offense and stable drives down the field. Two consecutive touchdown drives of 66 and 72 yards gave the Tar Heels a cushion toward the back half of the third Quarter.

Syracuse’s defense would start to wear down as North Carolina pulled away late. The Tar Heels would outscore the Orange North Carolina coasted late. Sam Howell finished with 295 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

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