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  The Heels' running game that ranked tied for second in the ACC with 233 yards per game, was held to a season-low 87 yards and just 2.9 yards per carry. Both of those numbers were right around the average the Irish's top-ranked rush defense has allowed per game. Neither Michael Carter's speed nor Javonte Williams' power could provide enough substantial runs through that interior line. Carter had a 26-yard run on his first carry and later had a 16-yard run. But those were the exceptions. He finished with just 15 more yards on six carries combined.

Williams entered the game leading the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns and 62 avoided tackles. But he managed just 28 yards, which like Carter, was a season low. "They had a good defensive line all the way across the board," Carter said. "They have a lot of athletes that you'll see at the next level." That inability to run underlined the Heels' fourth quarter struggles. Play-action passes were deemed ineffective. And forget about trying to have Howell in a five-step drop -- two of the six sacks by the Irish came in the fourth. "Unless we could run the ball well enough in this game, we knew that we couldn't protect well enough to get the ball downfield," Brown said. "And we had to throw the ball to win the game." - Raleigh News Observer

(DS#4 RB) Sr/2021 RB Michael CarterNorth Carolina
News Source: Raleigh News Observer



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