Led by Javonte Williams, UNC football cruises by Syracuse in sloppy 2020 opener

It wasn’t necessarily pretty throughout, but UNC football got the job done with a 31-6 home win over Syracuse — in front of no fans at Kenan Stadium.

The Tar Heels used a dominant second half to erase an uneasy first 30 minutes of play. UNC outscored Syracuse 21-0.

North Carolina lost the turnover battler (a margin of -2); however, an inept Syracuse offense could never capitalize.

In terms of scoring, running back Javonte Williams led the way: 14 carries, 57 yards and three touchdowns. All three of the touchdowns from Williams came from inside of six yards.

As Sam Howell launched his sophomore season, the blue-chip quarterback completed 25-of-34 pass attempts for 295 yards (8.7 yards per attempt), one touchdown and two interceptions. Howell’s lone touchdown toss went to veteran tight end Garrett Walston. The two interceptions came on forced throws into Syracuse’s secondary; star safety Andre Cisco was responsible for the second interception.


Micahel Carter, UNC’s other star running back, was busy, too; Carter ran for 78 yards while also catching six passes for 60 yards out of the backfield.

Less than three months ago, 5-star 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes committed to North Carolina. However, after a reclassification to the 2020 class and a late summer arrival, Grimes made his college debut — on a Saturday that would’ve initially come during his senior year of high school.

Grimes, however, was responsible for an illegal block that called back a punt return touchdown from the elusive Dazz Newsome.

Year 2 of Tommy DeVito at quarterback didn’t get off to robust start for Syracuse — to say the least. After a tough 2019 season, DeVito didn’t inspire much confidence in the 2020 opener: 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) through the air for 112 yards (3.6 yards per attempts).


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