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Next up: vs. Miami, 8 p.m., Saturday (ACC Network)

Wrapping up the weekend

As far as regular-season wins go, there have been few in recent years as big as Carolina's 24-20 victory over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. 

Not only did the Tar Heels beat a Power Five opponent in a season-opener for the first time since 1997, but in the process, they overcame the type of adversity and mistakes that had caused Carolina to crack in the past two seasons.

That speaks to the culture-change the program has undergone under Mack Brown and the message he delivered to his team at halftime.

"We have screwed up so many things and we’re in great shape, so we’ve got a great chance to win in the fourth quarter," Brown recalled telling his team. "We couldn’t be in a better position. How lucky are we? We’ve just got to believe and keep playing."

And that's not just coach-speak, as ESPN's cameras caught Brown preaching positive body language to his staff late in the game.


  • Things looked rocky for the Tar Heel defense in the first half as the Gamecocks rolled up 128 yards. From there, Carolina allowed a total just 142 yards the rest of the way, and that number could have been lower if not for missed tackles.
  • Of Sam Howell's 24 pass attempts, there were only three that stood out as poor decisions and one ultimately resulted in a completion to Dazz Newsome. The freshman has no shortage of confidence in his arm or his receivers.
  • Surrendering 90 yards on 10 penalties is far too much for a team with no margin for error. Luckily for the Tar Heels, the Gamecocks had a few poorly timed penalties, too.
  • Aaron Crawford and Jason Strowbridge combined for eight tackles, a sack and tackle for loss, but their impact was far bigger than the box score as they disrupted the South Carolina offense all day and rarely got a break.
  • The blown coverage that allowed Jake Bentley to easily complete a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Markway was as terrible a mistake as you'll see from veteran safeties. 
  • The value of Carolina's running back rotation showed up late in the third quarter as Antonio Williams, who carried only once in the first quarter, was fresh on three carries for 51 yards to lead the 98-yard touchdown drive.
  • Dominique Green will be back in the lineup for the Tar Heels after serving a suspension in the first game, while Patrice Rene will be available for the entire game. Trey Morrison's status is unknown after an "upper extremity" injury early on Saturday.
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About the Hurricanes

  • Miami missed a huge opportunity, letting Florida off the hook in Week 0. 
  • Quarterback Jarren Williams was efficient in his debut, completing 19 of 30 attempts for 214 yards and a touchdown, but he wasn't able to get much going downfield, averaging 7.1 yards per attempt.
  • The Canes appear to the same turnover-forcing machine they were last season, forcing the Gators to give it up four times, but they did give up 304 yards. 

ACC Schedule

No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday Wake Forest at Rice, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Net)
William & Mary at Virginia, 8 p.m. (ACC Network)

Ohio at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. (ACC Network Extra)
Western Carolina at N.C. State, 12:30 p.m. (ACC Network Extra)
No. 22 Syracuse at Maryland, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Old Dominion at Virginia Tech, 12 p.m. (ESPNU)
South Florida at Georgia Tech, 2 p.m. (ACC Network)
No. 12 Texas A&M at Clemson, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Richmond at Boston College, 3:30 p.m. (ACC Network Extra)
Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State, 5 p.m. (ACC Network) 
N.C. A&T at Duke, 6 p.m. (ACC Network Extra)
Eastern Kentucky at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ACC Network Extra)

Around the Nation

Marshall at Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Cincinnati at Ohio State, 12 p.m. (ABC)
No. 24 Nebraska at Colorado, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)
No. 6 LSU at No. 10 Texas, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Nevada at No. 11 Oregon, 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12)
No. 25 Stanford at USC, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)