Updated: Sep 5, 2022
UNC took the field for the first time Saturday in week 0 as Drake Maye made his debut
and the Tar Heels looked to kick off their season with a win over an FCS squad. Early on, it
looked as if the Heels were sleeping on the field as their first drive resulted in a three and out,
and the defense, while not allowing a score, allowed multiple first downs, and looked
flummoxed. Then on a third and 8, Drake Maye came to life, with a 42-yard run that seemed to
spark the young QB, as on the very next play he threw a 19-yard dart to Kamari Morales for a
Touchdown. The Rattlers responded with a good drive of their own and for the rest of the first
half they went back and forth, it wasn’t until late in the half that an interception by Storm Duck
gave the Heels a short field and they capitalized, going into the locker room with a 28-14 lead.
Drake Maye threw four touchdown passes in the half as well.
Coming out of the locker room it looked as if the Tar Heels would pull away, but the
Rattlers kept it close and at the end of the third, the score was 35-24 UNC. But the Heels, having fresh legs on the field thanks to a much deeper depth chart, pulled away with three TDs in the fourth quarter to win 56-24. Drake Maye finished with 5 passing touchdowns to go with 294 yards and a 92.9 QB rating. To compare, Drake’s dad, Mark, threw for 3 touchdowns in his debut back in 1986. The Tar Heels also showed much promise at running back, with five players touching the ball and the true freshmen shining. Here are a few takeaways from this game.
1. The Tar Heels Have a Quarterback:
How about Drake Maye? The QB threw for 5 touchdowns in one of the best debuts in
UNC history stat-wise. Granted, he was playing against an FCS school, but an FCS school with a lot of fight and a solid secondary. All and all, a very good debut for Maye, and I would not be
surprised if he is the undisputed starter moving forward.
2. Omarion Hampton Ran for 101 yards:
This was a surprise to me as he was last on the depth chart entering the game, but he
proved himself as legit Saturday night with 2 touchdowns. The Tar Heels have a 5 headed monster at running back right now as any one player can put up yards and be effective with carries.
3. The Defense Struggled (Again):
This is starting to feel like an old phrase to Tar Heel fans, but it’s reality. The Tar Heel D
struggled to contain the up-tempo attack of the Rattlers and if not for the huge interception by Storm Duck to close the half we might be talking about something completely different today. The Heels gave up way too many chunk plays to the FCS school, allowing Jeremy Moussa to get too comfortable in the pocket and out of it. This needs to improve for the Tar Heels to
win more games and ultimately make a push for the Coastal championship.
In conclusion, it was a promising start for the Heels on offense, but the D has work to
do. The Heels will play at Appalachian State at noon eastern time on Saturday.