North Carolina gets much-needed win over Boston College
They downplayed the emotion of shaking off a last-minute loss to a top 10 team.
But they needed a win.
That much North Carolina admitted Saturday after rolling past Boston College 34-10 in Kenan Stadium for its first ACC win.
“It’s not going to be hard to find energy for next week’s game,” said senior end Kareem Martin, referring to N.C. State.
Only two teams, the Wolfpack and Virginia, remain winless in the ACC. The Tar Heels had lost four straight, including in the last minute to Miami last time out.
“It’s been two months since we were able to get a win,” added Martin, who had two sacks.
The Tar Heels (2-5, 1-3 ACC) averaged nearly 49 points per game at home a year ago. On this resplendent sunny afternoon, the Tar Heels posted five touchdowns against an ACC team for the first time this season, and in front of a nearly half-empty 63,000-seat stadium.
“It didn’t matter who we play next,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “We needed this win. Our fan base needed it.”
The Eagles (3-4, 1-3 ACC) offered little resistance. Boston College had just 13 snaps on UNC’s side of the field. Their 59 passing yards were the fewest by a Tar Heels’ opponent since 1997.
“We didn’t really feel any weight,” said senior quarterback Bryn Renner, who was 18-of-21 passing. “In the locker room, we stay among ourselves. If we play well enough to win, we’ll win.”
North Carolina’s defense set up two touchdowns, one on sophomore Jeff Schoettmer’s fumble recovery. The other was a fourth-down stand near midfield late in the third quarter.
Freshman Bug Howard caught scoring passes of 10 and 17 yards from Renner and sophomore Marquise Williams, respectively. Freshman Ryan Switzer’s 13-yard scoring catch came from Renner. Williams (4 yards) and senior A.J. Blue (1) added scoring runs.
Senior Tre Boston’s nine tackles led defensively. Junior Travis Hughes and freshman Mikey Bart, in his first college start, had sacks.
Fedora said the Tar Heels played with fewer mistakes and a lot cleaner game. He also credited a pass rush notching four sacks to players’ effort and coaches’ schemes.
“They practiced the same way they’ve practiced all year,” Fedora said. “It’s not like we’re out there putting our arms around them with hugs and kisses. We’re getting after it, and they’ve had a great attitude.
“They understand what it’s going to take to be successful. Tonight, we got it done.”