The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the East Carolina Pirates 42-17, behind the strong running duo of running backs Johnny White and Shaun Draughn, who rushed for a combined 277 yards on Saturday. This marked the first time in six years that UNC had two runners finish with over 100 yards in a game, for a school that once had over twenty consecutive years with a player surpassing 1,000 yards in a season. The last runner to do so was Jonathan Linton in 1997.
With East Carolina leading 17-14 with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter, the North Carolina running game responded. As White and Draughn continued to run through hole after hole created by the North Carolina offensive line. Draughn finished the day with three touchdowns, all in the second half, for the Tar Heels.
The UNC defense faced with the challenge of taking on the spread passing attack of the Pirates, receive an extra boost earlier in the week as starting safety Da’Norris Searcy was cleared to return to game action. Searcy did not disappoint in doing so, as he picked off a Dominique Davis pass in the second quarter and ran it back for a 46-yard touchdown to even the game up.
This game is a huge win for the Tar Heels, who are now 2-2 overall as they welcome Clemson next weekend to Chapel Hill. Also boosting the Heels will be the return of the other starting safety Deunta Williams. This Tar Heel team, which everyone discounted after the early suspensions, is slowly putting things together and playing much improved football as a result.
About the Author
Written by Tom Waterman
I am an aspiring Sports Journalist, who is currently majoring in Communications at Elon University.