Sam Howell threw for three touchdowns to lead UNC to a 56-24 win over Duke and keep possession of the Victory Bell.
“It feels good,” he said. “We know how important this game is, how much it means to our fans and to people in this state. That’s something we definitely want to accomplish every year, keep that bell in Chapel Hill.”
Two of Howell’s three touchdown passes went to running backs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams.
“Both of those guys have really improved from last year in the passing game. They’ve been a really big part of the passing game this year. It’s something both of those guys have put a lot of time into. I feel really comfortable throwing the ball to both of those guys. A lot of time, on third down, people will just kind of drop—they’re worried about our receivers—and our backs are wide open underneath. Today, they had a lot of space to catch and run.”
Williams rushed for 151 yards and moved into the national lead for touchdowns, scoring four in the game. Could the junior running back start hearing his name in Heisman talk?
“I’m 100 percent behind that movement,” Howell said. “He definitely should be in the talk for the Heisman Trophy. He’s a tremendous player. He’s played probably the best season a running back has played this year. Overall, every single aspect of his game has gotten better. He’s seeing the game a little bit better. His vision has gotten better. He’s got more balance than last year. He was still trucking guys last year, but this year, he’s really taken it to another level. He’s really done a good job of turning into a complete back. There’s really not a bad part of his game.”