For the final time in 2019, Carolina took the football field as they competed in the Military Bowl. After having a month off since winning their final two games to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2016 the Heels played arguably their best game of the season. Sam Howell accounted for 4 total touchdowns, as they rolled to a convincing 55-13 win over Temple. In the process Carolina won their first bowl game since the 2013 Belk Bowl, and will enter the off-season with a lot of positive momentum for what figures to be a promising 2020 season.
Entering this contest, the question was could Carolina protect Sam Howell, as he went up against one of the better pass rushing units in all of college football. They answered the bell, not allowing a single sack of the freshman signal caller. In the run game, the Tar Heels rushed for over 230 yards, as the offense achieved balance in both the run and pass game. It was the most complete effort up front, as they simply dominated the line of scrimmage, where the game of football is won and lost. It was the final outing for Charlie Heck, as he'll depart for what figures to be a productive NFL career. Brain Anderson started over Nick Polino and was as comfortable as he;s been all year long. 4 starters that started the bowl game will return for the 2020, as the team hopes to compete for a Coastal title.
It was the final time that Aaron Crawford and Jason Strowbridge would suit in a Carolina uniform and both guys came to play. They set the tone for what was the most complete effort from the defense all year long. In this game you saw the vision of Jay Bateman wants his defense to look like. Carolina limited the Owls to just 78 yards rushing, as the constant penetration into the Temple backfield made it difficult for the opposition to get into any rhythm. Jahlil Taylor had arguably his best game of the season, totaling 4 tackles with 3 being solo. Raymond Vohasek recorded 2 stops, and looked like a guy that'll be a big part of the unit next fall. This was a great way to end a season where we saw improvement at all 3 levels of the defense, a performance like this gives the coaches and players something to build on as we enter the off-season.