CHAPEL HILL—The Tar Heels improved to 6-5 and gained bowl eligibility with a school record 80 points and an emphatic 80-20 victory over Old Dominion in front of the home crowd.
Carolina dominated play offensively throughout the contest, and the improving defense continuously flustered quarterback Tyler Heinicke. In short, UNC dominated in every facet of the game. All kinds of records were shattered including the most offensive yards ever by a Carolina football team.
The proceedings began with the Monarchs getting the ball first. Veteran quarterback Tyler Heinicke was flushed out of the pocket on a hurry by Tar Heel Travis Hughes.
Quarterback Marquise Williams threw a deep strike intended for receiver Quinshad Davis, but a pass interference was called on the Monarchs. And on the very next play, Davis was side open for an easy 56-yard touchdown catch, his ninth of the season, which jolted the Tar Heel crowd and put UNC up an early seven points with 13:53 in the first quarter still remaining.
Old Dominion responded with a 40-yard dash that gashed the Tar Heel defense. Heinicke was definitely feeling the pressure of the Carolina defensive linemen. But Monarch running back Johnson was picking up nice yardage.
Ultimately, the scoring drive resulted in a 37-yard field goal that got Old Dominion on the board with 11:43 left in the first quarter.
In a surprise tactic, ODU went for an onside kick and recovered. But they couldn’t capitalize as they fumbled it away soon after with a nice force by Jabari Price and Kareem Martin recovered for the Tar Heels.
From there, Carolina launched an offensive assault into Monarch territory with mixed play-calling. But a false start penalty on Russell Bodine set the Tar Heels back five yards.
A nice one-on-one tackle by Old Dominion on the third down forced a Tommy Hibbard punt.
On the ensuing drive, the Monarchs completed a huge pass play that was called back on an illegal formation penalty. A punt was forced by the Tar Heels from there as Heinicke had nowhere to go on third down.
Tre Boston muffed the punt return and Old Dominion recovered to set up a prime scoring opportunity for the Monarchs.
And this time, Old Dominion did take advantage of a huge Carolina miscue with a touchdown run by Colby Goodwyn that set the Monarchs ahead 10-7 with 5:43 in first quarter.
Quinshad Davis was at it again. This time, he opened the next series with a tightrope act up the sideline for 36 yards that set Carolina up for a scoring opportunity inside the Old Dominion 30-yard line.
And they cashed in as Williams threw a beautiful ball to TJ Thorpe in the side of the end zone. The score stood at 14-10 in favor of the Tar Heels with 5:05 on clock.
The scoring drives were coming quick for these two high-powered offenses. Old Dominion was next to have its crack at it. They wasted no time crossing the 50-yard line with crisp passing against a somewhat sluggish Tar Heel defense.
But Carolina was able to slow the Monarch attack down in the end. A 40-yard field goal punched through the uprights got the Monarchs to within a single point with 2:39 remaining in the first quarter.
TJ Thorpe shed some tackles and advanced the ball out past the 30-yard line on the punt return for Carolina. But an overthrown ball by Williams set up a third and long for the offense.
Bug Howard snagged a 15-yard pass to get the Carolina engine back running again. They slammed the ball on a T.J. Logan to the one-yard line as time expired on the first quarter.
After one quarter, UNC maintained a 214-167 edge it total yardage. ODU QB Heinicke was not living up to the hype with only 65 yards and completing only four passes on 13 attempts. Meanwhile, Tar Heel signal caller Marquise Williams was 10-13 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Davis had already totaled 100 yards receiving.
The drive was capped off with a Logan score that vaulted the Tar Heels to a 21-13 lead just seconds into the second quarter.
Carolina shut down the Monarch offense on the next series to get the ball right back to the offense. Freshman Khris Francis saw his first carries in the next series as the Tar Heels moved into Monarch territory with a ground and pound approach.
A rare holding call on James Hurst didn’t slow down the Tar Heels. Williams hooked up with Ryan Switzer for a 43-yard touchdown strike. Carolina seized a 28-13 lead with 12:22 remaining in half.
The Tar Heel defense was beginning to find its form. The speed of play was up and gang tackling was back in force. They stopped the Monarchs and forced a punt with 9:05 on the clock.
Williams dashed ahead for a big run, and then followed that up with a 57-yard touchdown pass to Switzer. This one was turning into a rout. Mismatches were all over the field as UNC claimed a commanding 35-13 lead.
As usual, Martin was ever present in the backfield of Old Dominion. Heinicke wasn’t having any time to find his receivers. The Tar Heel defense was wreaking havoc. It was another punt for the Monarchs.
The following drive saw UNC methodically progress the ball down the field. TJ Logan polished off the 84-yard drive with his second touchdown of the day. Carolina led 42-13 with 2:26 left in the half.
Old Dominion went for it on fourth down, but failed to convert. Carolina now had the ball inside the Monarch 20-yard line. It was a prime opportunity for another score for the Tar Heels in a game that was getting out of hand.
Williams tied a school record with his fifth touchdown pass of the day. This one was to Kendrick Singleton. The 35 points in the second quarter tied the most points scored by any Carolina football team in a quarter.
At the half, Carolina had amassed 495 yards of total offense. Logan was the leading Tar Heel rusher with 54 yards and two touchdowns. Williams had thrown a record-tying 5 touchdown passes to go along with his 379 yards.
As for the receivers, Davis led the way with 124 yards and a touchdown. But he was closely followed by freshman standout Ryan Switzer with 111 yards and a pair of scores.
The Tar Heels picked up where they left off in the second half. Williams threw his sixth touchdown pass to earn a new school record. Khris Francis hauled the ball in to place Carolina in a 56-13 lead early in the third quarter.
Old Dominion broke loose for a huge gain down the field that had them inside Carolina’s five yard line. Could the Carolina defense hold them? Not on this occasion.
Marquel Thomas caught a two yard pass from Heinicke. With that score, Carolina’s lead was cut to 56-20 with 12:27 on the third quarter clock.
Lightning struck next for the Tar Heels. TJ Logan ran back a kick return for a touchdown. The 99-yard return was the third longest in UNC football history. UNC led 63-20.
The Tar Heels tied the school record for points scored in a game with a Thomas Moore field goal. Carolina owned a 66-20 lead with 9:44 in third quarter.
An electrifying 63-yard touchdown carry by TJ Logan broke the school record not too long after. The Tar Heels were up 73-20 with 5:33 left in third quarter.
Ryan Switzer did it again. He returned another punt for a touchdown. It was his fourth return in the last three games, and it put the Tar Heels up 80-20.
In a move none in the press box had seen before, the referees got mutual agreement between the two schools to play a 10 minute fourth quarter. It seemed like a bit of a mercy rule.
719 offensive yards gave UNC the school record for yardage in a single game. Nearly every offensive record went down in this game. Next up for the Tar Heels? Duke.