UNC Athletics provides postgame notes following Thursday night’s season opener in Charlotte. The Tar Heels led in the fourth quarter and had the ball in the red zone with a chance to take the lead in the final minutes, but South Carolina held on for a 17-13 triumph.
South Carolina 17, North Carolina 13
• UNC opens the 2015 season with a four-point loss to South Carolina, the second time in three seasons the Tar Heels have opened the year with a loss to the Gamecocks (also in 2013 in Columbia).
• This is the first time UNC has lost when holding an opponent to 17 points or fewer since a 13-0 defeat at NC State on Nov. 5, 2011.
• The Tar Heels now lead the series, 34-19-4.
• Tailback Elijah Hood, a native of Charlotte, rushed for a career-high 138 yards on 12 carries. He topped his previous career high by 76 yards. His previous high was 62 yards vs. Rutgers in the 2014 Quick Lane Bowl. He had a career-long 44-yard run in the third quarter tonight against the Gamecocks.
• Hood’s 138 rushing yards are the most by a Tar Heel in a season opener since Torin Dorn gained 165 vs. Illinois on Sept. 5, 1987.
• Hood became the first Tar Heel tailback to rush for 100 yards in the season opener since Shaun Draughn had 118 vs. The Citadel in the 2009 opener.
• Hood averaged 11.5 yards per carry and went over the 100-yard mark on just his ninth attempt of the evening.
• Junior place-kicker Nick Weiler converted both of his field goal attempts (47 & 38 yards) in the first half. The 47-yarder was the longest by the Tar Heels since a 48-yarder by Casey Barth against Miami in 2012. Last season, Carolina made just six field goals with a long of 30 yards. Weiler is now 7 of 10 on field goals in his career, including 1 of 3 from 30-39 yards and 1 of 2 from 40-plus.
• Quarterback Marquise Williams completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 232 yards and one touchdown. He moved into fourth place in school history in passing yards – topping the 5,000-yard mark in the first half – and now has 5,125 in his career. Williams threw three interceptions for the first time in his college career. Two of the interceptions came in the end zone and the other at the Gamecock 17-yard line.
• Wide receiver Bug Howard caught a career-high six passes for a career-high 114 yards. His previous bests were five catches and 79 yards.
• LB Jeff Schoettmer and S Donnie Miles led the Tar Heels with 12 tackles apiece. That was one off Schoettmer’s career high (13 against Virginia Tech in 2013) and was a career-best for Miles (previous was 10 against East Carolina).
• Seven Tar Heels made their first career start Thursday evening, including LT Bentley Spain, WR Bug Howard, DT Jeremiah Clarke, DT Nazair Jones, LB Joe Jackson, CB M.J. Stewart and SS Donnie Miles.
• North Carolina is now 3-4 in Bank of America Stadium.