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  Tar Heels coach Mack Brown knew that eventually he had to take the handcuffs off freshman quarterback Sam Howell. With South Carolina stacking the box and daring the Tar Heels to throw, Brown decided he had no other option than to let Howell try to make some plays. Howell responded in a big way throwing for 245 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns as North Carolina battled back from an 11-point deficit to beat South Carolina 24-20 on Saturday. Howell led touchdown drives of 98 and 95 yards and connected on TD passes of 22 yards to Dyami Brown and 17 yards to Beau Corrales to give Brown his first win since 2013, when he coached at Texas.

"We were very conservative with Sam Howell around the goal line early," Brown said. "And we felt like at halftime, he's a quarterback, we have to turn him loose. And he played a tremendous second half." Conservative might be an understatement. North Carolina ran 12 plays inside the South Carolina 25-yard line in the first half and 11 were runs. The only pass attempt resulted in a sack. "We didn't take any shots in the first half," said Howell, the first true freshman to start a season opener in school history. "We kind of opened it up in the second half and our receivers made some good plays." - AP College Football

(DS#1 QB) So/2023 QB Sam HowellNorth Carolina
News Source: AP College Football



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