It did for the Tar Heels in their opener as true freshman Sam Howell showed poise and confidence with an impressive second half against SC, leading his team back from a 20-9 halftime deficit with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to cap drives of 98 and 95 yards.
True freshman Sam Howell threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns for North Carolina, including a 10-yard score to Dazz Newsome with 1:01 left. But Miami kicker Bubba Baxa missed what would have been the game-tying, 49-yard field goal. In hopes of inspiring a defense that managed just 17 takeaways in 2018, Brown and new defensive backs coach Dre Bly unveiled the Tar Heels' own version of Miami's Turnover Chain - the Turnover Belt - and junior safety Myles Wolfolk was the first to don it, coming up with two fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the win over SC.
Williams, the redshirt freshman who beat out transfer Tate Martell and incumbent N'Kosi Perry for the starting job, remained cool all game, completing 30 of 39 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Miami had taken its first and only lead of the game when Jarren Williams found Will Mallory for an 11-yard strike with 4:38 left. The Hurricanes were nearly equally pleased with the effort of their redshirt freshman Jarren Williams in his first collegiate start as he made plays and gave Miami a chance to win - "I thought our guys were confident that they were going to win the game until the final play", head coach Manny Diaz told reporters - despite huge pressure from a tough Florida defense that came away with 10 sacks.More news: Vivaldi's customizable browser comes to Android
A lot is on the line for both teams in Saturday's contest.
The Tar Heels prevailed in Week 1 against SC, but they also have things to work on from their opener. The win came against UNC, which ran for 215 yards.
Brown was basically run out of town after 16 successful seasons at Texas because fans and boosters were fed up of spending their hard-earned money on underachieving teams getting pushed around all over the field and not competing for championships.More news: FDA Warns Juul About Illegal Marketing Claims
"They really like their backs so they're going to do everything they can to keep the ball in their playmakers' hands", Miami senior linebacker Shaq Quarterman said. But two wins to start the season, after winning two games all year last season, isn't bad. "So we've got to go back and start over in that area and continue to talk about it and preach".
This is the first time the Tar Heels have won their first two games by four or fewer points since 1976. Miami was led by RB DeeJay Dallas, who rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.More news: U.S. tells smokers to stop vaping pending investigation into five deaths
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