Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

UNC rolls behind QB's record day

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Marquise Williams kept pushing the ball downfield, confident that North Carolina's receivers would make the catch against a defense ranked among the nation's best.

There was no letup, either, from a flea-flicker for a touchdown on the first snap to a last-second TD heave just before halftime — all part of a dominating show by a team inching closer to a trip to the conference championship game.

Williams threw for 404 of his school-record 494 yards by halftime Saturday in No. 21 North Carolina's 66-31 win against rival Duke.

Williams threw four touchdowns and ran for another, breaking the school passing mark in the opening minutes of the second half. The senior's performance was the biggest highlight on an afternoon full of them for the Tar Heels, who haven't lost since the opener and firmed up their hold on the Coastal Division race.

"I'm always dialed in," Williams said. "That's the thing, as a quarterback you have to be dialed in every day. I came to practice with a mind-set this week that we were going to come out and win this football game."

Seven players scored for UNC, with Elijah Hood running for three touchdowns to Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer hauling in TD catches on 100-yard receiving days. By the end, the Tar Heels had scored more points than ever against the Blue Devils to keep the rivalry's Victory Bell for another year.

Now 5-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1997, the Tar Heels can clinch a spot in the title game next weekend with a home win against Miami along with a Pittsburgh loss at Duke.

"We don't look ahead and say, 'If we beat this team and this team beats that team,' " linebacker Shakeel Rashad said. "But it is in the front of our minds that we are in control of our own destiny. If we keep winning out, then we're going to reach our goal."

NO. 8 N. DAME 42, PITT 30: Brian Kelly isn't ready to start politicking. The Notre Dame coach figures it's far too early to get caught up in the College Football Playoff debate.

Considering the way the Irish's offense is humming at the moment, he might want to get a speech ready just in case.

DeShone Kizer threw for five touchdowns and ran for another as visiting Notre Dame bolstered its CFP resume with its fourth straight win. Will Fuller caught seven passes for 157 yards and three scores to give him 12 on the season and 28 for his career.

"Just another day at the office, honestly," Fuller said. "(Kizer) is going to throw the ball up there and I know it'll hit my hands."

LOUISVILLE 41, SYRACUSE 17: Kyle Bolin threw for a season-high 362 yards and three touchdowns, and the host Cardinals gained a season-high 579 yards en route to their third straight victory. Starting in place of injured freshman Lamar Jackson, Bolin completed 24 of 35 passes with an interception.

N.C. STATE 24, BC 8: Jacoby Brissett threw an 83-yard touchdown to Maurice Trowell early in the second quarter, and the visiting Wolfpack sent the Eagles to their sixth straight loss. Boston College walk-on quarterback John Fadule was sacked seven times in his first career start.

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