Game Recap: North Carolina vs. South Carolina
Clash in Charlotte: College Football Season Kickoff
On the inaugural day of the college football season, College Gameday commenced with enthusiasm. The showdown between North Carolina and South Carolina unfolded just a short distance away at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
Tar Heels Seek to End Losing Streak
The No. 21 Tar Heels, following a four-game losing streak in the previous season’s conclusion, were determined to snap that unfavorable trend. In contrast, South Carolina concluded the last season on a high note, triumphing over Tennessee and Clemson in back-to-back weekends before narrowly succumbing 45-38 to Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl, culminating in an 8-5 season.
North Carolina vs South Carolina Live Updates and Broadcast Details
for real-time updates before, during, and after the game, scheduled to commence at 7:30 p.m. and air on ABC. It’s important to note that you won’t have access to the game if you are a Spectrum cable subscriber due to a contractual dispute.
North Carolina vs South Carolina Key Highlights of the Game
The game featured several pivotal moments:
- Maye’s Second Interception Revives USC: Maye attempted a deep pass to the right sideline, overshooting Kobe Paysour slightly. Although the receiver made contact with the ball, he couldn’t secure it. The ball rebounded into the air and was intercepted by Kajuan Banks at the SC 45. Gavin Blackwell pushed Banks out of bounds with 11:34 remaining in the game.
- South Carolina Field Goal Halts UNC’s Momentum: The Gamecocks capitalized on a pair of ill-timed UNC penalties and a lengthy pass completion, advancing inside the UNC 10. However, a resilient defensive effort limited USC to a 26-yard field goal by Mitch Jeter.
- Maye’s Interception Halts UNC’s Drive: Drake Maye, UNC’s quarterback, was under pressure, evading the pocket to the right. Instead of discarding the ball or throwing it out of bounds, he attempted to force a pass into a narrow window to Gavin Blackwell across his body. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned, resulting in a USC recovery in the final three minutes of the third quarter.
- Maye’s Touchdown Pass Extends UNC’s Lead: Drake Maye delivered his second touchdown pass of the game, a 37-yarder to tight end John Copenhaver, widening UNC’s lead to 31-14 over the Gamecocks with 6:29 left in the third quarter.
- Hampton Scores Again: Omarion Hampton notched his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game, granting the Tar Heels a 24-14 advantage with 11:35 left in the third quarter. Drake Maye’s 37-yard pass to Gavin Blackwell set up the score, positioning UNC at the South Carolina 1.
- Halftime Update: UNC held a 17-14 lead at halftime, propelled by Drake Maye’s impressive first-half performance.
- Paysour’s Touchdown: A 34-yard touchdown pass from Maye to Kobe Paysour swiftly reclaimed the lead for UNC, making it 17-14 with 2:50 remaining before halftime. The five-play, 75-yard drive consumed only 2:26 of the second-quarter clock.
- McDowell’s Touchdown: After Spencer Rattler connected on three passes of 20 yards or more during the drive, Juju McDowell’s 1-yard touchdown run propelled the Gamecocks into their first lead of the night, at 14-10, with 5:16 left in the second quarter. Rattler’s passes included a 29-yarder to Xavier Legette, a 20-yarder to Ahmarean Brown, and a 22-yarder to McDowell, positioning USC at the UNC 1.
- Heels Add Field Goal: Ryan Coe, a transfer from Cincinnati, converted his first field goal attempt with UNC, elevating the Tar Heels to a 10-7 lead with 7:05 remaining until halftime. Coe successfully kicked a 37-yard field goal to break the tie. UNC had reached the South Carolina 16-yard line before pre-snap penalties, including a false start and a delay of game, disrupted the drive, forcing the Heels to settle for a field goal.
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Pregame Challenges and Player Updates
Before the game, UNC faced eligibility uncertainties concerning wide receiver Tez Walker, pending NCAA rulings on his transfer from Kent State. Another transfer wide receiver, Nate McCollum, who played for Georgia Tech in the previous season, was sidelined due to injury. Additionally, junior safety DeAndre Boykins, a starter in all 14 games for the Tar Heels in the last season, would miss the current season due to injury.
UNC is diligently preparing for another appeal in hopes of securing Walker’s eligibility, aiming for his return to the field during the Tar Heels’ home opener against Appalachian State on September 9.