Youth movement scoring big for UNC
Posted November 23, 2013
It was, quite literally, unlike anything ever seen before at Kenan Stadium...
Carolina shredded the Tar Heels' offensive record books against Old Dominion, scoring 80 points and rolling up 721 yards of total offense en route to a bowl eligibility-clinching 80-20 win over an out-manned Monarchs squad.
But here's the most impressive stat on a day when many, many impressive numbers were being thrown around Kenan: All eleven of the Tar Heels' touchdowns were scored by freshmen or sophomores.
"It says the future's bright," said freshman Ryan Switzer, who scored three of those eleven TD's. "It just says a lot about where this team's headed. We're all excited to be a part of it."
Switzer's punt return touchdown was his fourth in three games, which ties the ACC's single-season record.
This was a team that started 1-5. While the back end of UNC's schedule has been a lot less challenging than those first six games, there's still no denying this team's improvement - and much of that improvement comes from the youth movement.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marquise Williams tied the school record for touchdown passes, with 5 - all in the first half. Williams' 469 yards of total offense also set a school record.
"We have an incredible future coming," Williams said. "The (first-year) guys, they're not freshmen to me."
Running back TJ Logan is one of those freshmen. He led the team with four touchdowns, including a 99-yard kickoff return. A third freshman, running back Khris Francis, added another score.
Williams even joked that the players wanted to add a field goal late (Carolina did not score in an abbreviated fourth quarter), just to say they topped the men's basketball score. (The Heels beat Richmond in hoops 82-72)
Had the gridiron team added those three extra points they would also have set a new ACC single-game scoring record. Clemson hung 82 points on Wake Forest in 1981. That team won a national championship. This one is just happy to be turning things around after a dismal start.
To put things in perspective, when Carolina was scoring points in bunches down the stretch last season - it was almost a foregone conclusion Gio Bernard would be heading for the NFL. Now the point scorers are guys who were in high school a year ago,
Yes, it was an over-matched Old Dominion team still transitioning from FCS to FBS - but 80 points is 80 points... And freshmen were the ones doing the damage. Larry Fedora has to like how that bodes for the future.