North Carolina stunned by South Carolina in Mayo Bowl
North Carolina’s disappointing season ended in fitting fashion on Thursday afternoon — a 38-21 drubbing at the hands of South Carolina.
The Tar Heels fell behind 18-0 in the first quarter and never seriously threatened to get back in the game. North Carolina was favored by double digits as kickoff approached.
South Carolina’s game plan proved to be too much for UNC, who wasn’t expecting a healthy dose of quarterback Dakereon Joyner in this game. Joyner completed all 9 of his passing attempts for 160 yards and 1 touchdown. He also rushed for an efficient 64 yards on 10 carries.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s playmakers weren’t able to step up. Sam Howell was limited to just 3 rushing yards on 13 carries and Ty Chandler had just 29 yards on 9 attempts.
Third down was a big issue for the Tar Heels on both sides of the ball. UNC’s offense went just 1-of-10 on third down, which was a big reason why it ran only 50 plays in this game. South Carolina won the time-of-possession battle 39:02-20:58.
On the other side, South Carolina converted 6-of-11 third down attempts and averaged 8.2 yards per play. The Gamecocks’ previous season-high for yards per play this year was 7.0, which came in a win over Florida.
This wraps up a disappointing season for the Tar Heels, who entered the year with expectations of competing for an ACC title. Instead, they finish the season with a 6-7 record and plenty of question marks heading into 2022.