Saturday, December 28, 2013

North Carolina: 2013 Belk Bowl Champions

North Carolina was one of the best teams in the ACC during the second half of the season and carried that momentum into its bowl game. The Tar Heels showed little problem with the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl, defeating Tommy Tuberville's squad 39-17 in Charlotte.
On third-and-goal, Romar Morris burst through the hole and into the end zone to give North Carolina the 7-0 lead. Two drives later, Kareem Martin broke through two Bearcat offensive linemen to bring down Brendon Kay in the end zone for a safety. T.J. Loganreturned the ensuing safety punt 78 yards for a touchdown and the Tar Heels suddenly led 16-0 in the first quarter.
The two teams traded scores in the second quarter -- unfortunately for the Bearcats, they traded a field goal for a touchdown. Tony Miliano's 34-yard field goal put Cincinnati on the board, but Marquise Williams' 3-yard touchdown pass to Jack Tabb four minutes later made the score 23-3.
The Tar Heels started out the third quarter with a bang, as Ryan Switzer returned a sky-high punt 86 yards for his fifth punt return touchdown of the season, tying an NCAA record.
Cincinnati tried to make it a game with two of the next three touchdowns, but were stopped short near the goal-line with about ten minutes left in the game. That allowed North Carolina to run down clock and put the game out of reach.
Box Score Hero: T.J. Logan. The running back carried 15 times for 77 yards while also returning three kicks for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked, and neither will be.
But Did They Cover? North Carolina was a 3-point favorite, so they did.

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