North Carolina survives Appalachian State upset bid as groups mix for many factors in FBS recreation since 2019

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North Carolina and Appalachian State began their 2022 seasons with one of many craziest video games we’ll see in Week 1. The 2 groups traded haymakers in a livid back-and-forth over the sport’s remaining minutes earlier than the Tar Heels escaped Boone with a 63-61 victory. 

The 124 mixed factors are essentially the most scored in an FBS recreation since UCLA’s 67-63 win at Washington State in 2019, however what made this recreation notably distinctive was how the factors have been poured on late. Half (62) of the sport’s complete factors got here within the fourth quarter, together with three touchdowns within the remaining 22 seconds of regulation. 

The wild end was foreshadowed by two huge swings earlier within the recreation, with every crew constructing a snug lead at varied factors. Appalachian State went up 21-7 early within the second quarter, however then touted quarterback Drake Maye led three landing drives within the remaining 10 minutes of the primary half to present North Carolina its first lead of the sport at 28-21. That offensive success for the Tar Heels continued within the third quarter because the lead stretched to 41-21, organising a collection of dramatic and inconceivable occasions that unfolded within the recreation’s remaining quarter-hour. 

Appalachian State minimize the result in 41-28 on an extended and emphatic landing drive, then bought the ball proper again when Maye fumbled on the primary play of the following collection. The Mountaineers wanted simply three performs to show the quick subject into one other landing, chopping the result in 41-35 with greater than 10 minutes left to play. The subsequent 3:13 of recreation time included yet one more landing for each groups earlier than the primary and solely punt of the second half gave the ball again to App State with 4:46 left down 49-42. That is when a 38-yard landing run from Camerun Peoples tied the sport at 49 with 4 minutes remaining. 

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North Carolina, as you would possibly anticipate based mostly on how the sport had unfolded to that time, hit yet one more splash play with an extended landing catch-and-run from Maye to D.J. Jones to present the Tar Heels the lead as soon as once more at 56-49. 

Then got here essentially the most dramatic sequence of the sport as Appalachian State scored a landing with 31 seconds remaining and elected to go for the 2-point conversion and the lead. Nonetheless, Chase Brice’s go sailed excessive of an open receiver and the failed 2-point attempt left the Mountaineers down 56-55. 

However the fireworks weren’t over but. 

Appalachian State’s onside attempt was returned for a landing by North Carolina, which prolonged the Tar Heels result in 63-55 however left the door open for Brice to get one other crack at a game-tying rating. A 47-yard kickoff return by Milan Tucker set Brice up in North Carolina territory. Two lengthy passes later and the Mountaineers have been the truth is in the long run zone for a landing, chopping the result in 63-61 with 9 seconds remaining. 

That is when heartbreak set in for App State followers, who noticed this crew get off the mat time and time once more. Brice was capable of get unfastened from the pocket on a 2-point attempt, however was stopped in need of the purpose line. The primary 2-point attempt was an opportunity to steal the lead and attempt to stroll it off at residence, whereas the second was essential to ship the sport to extra time. For each makes an attempt to fall quick in a recreation that already included a excessive degree of drama and depth solely provides to the frustration for a Mountaineers crew that outscored its opponent 40-22 within the fourth quarter. 

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Past the craziness of the sport’s remaining quarter, listed here are three issues to know in regards to the win for North Carolina and what’s subsequent for each groups. 

1. Maye builds his profile as a prime ACC QB

Maye accomplished 24 of 36 passes for 352 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions, whereas ending second on the crew in dashing with 76 yards on the bottom and one other rating. In his first two video games, the redshirt freshman has 646 yards passing and 9 TDs whereas finishing 72.6% of his passes. The youthful brother of former North Carolina basketball participant Luke Maye (and son former North Carolina quarterback Mark Maye) is rapidly staking his personal declare to glory within the hearts and minds of Tar Heel followers, however his efficiency has exceeded his pedigree. Maye has lived as much as the blue-chip projections he had popping out of highschool after which some. With star broad receiver Josh Downs lacking from Saturday’s win, Maye was challenged to rise to the event of main the offense with out its finest weapon. That response, particularly after going through a 21-7 gap in his first highway begin, suggests North Carolina is in nice fingers at quarterback within the post-Sam Howell period. 

2. App State should not have any bother transferring on

If the Mountaineers had, say, ULM a simple nonconference recreation up subsequent, then it could be a legitimate concern to suppose this mentally and emotionally exhausting expertise would linger and impression their play subsequent week. However the subsequent recreation for App State is at Texas A&M, which suggests there is not any time to soak in its sorrows. That robust opponent ought to permit Shawn Clark’s crew to flush this expertise and transfer ahead, as a result of the twelfth Man and a roster loaded with four- and five-tar expertise awaits subsequent week in School Station. 

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3. The Tar Heels protection is a legal responsibility

The ceiling for North Carolina in 2022 lies with Maye and the offense, and that ceiling is ending in first place within the ACC Coastal Division with a crack on the ACC Championship Sport. Nonetheless, the ground is set by the crew’s protection, which proper now seems prefer it could possibly be a 6-6 or 7-5 caliber group. That is two straight weeks that an offense from outdoors the Energy 5 has moved the ball successfully towards a protection that, on paper, has expertise however in observe has been labored on the level of assault and beat via the air. It is a good factor North Carolina can rating numerous factors, as a result of it is trying prefer it might want to with the intention to win in 2022. 

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