UNC gets first win with 53-23 win over Old Dominion

Tar Heels’ defense fares better after struggling in first two outings

North Carolina Tar Heels fans cheer during the second half against Cal at Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC got its first win of the season on the road at Old Dominion on Saturday. (Rob Kinnan / USA TODAY Sports)

Freshman running back Michael Carter and redshirt freshman quarterback Chazz Surratt each rushed for two touchdowns as North Carolina overwhelmed host Old Dominion 53-23 for its first victory of the season Saturday at Foreman Field in Norfolk, Va.

Sophomore running back Jordon Brown also scored twice, while Surratt threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Austin Proehl.

The Tar Heels (1-2), who entered this nonconference game with two losses to start the season for the first time since 2010, bolted to a 39-7 halftime lead for their second romp in two all-time meetings with the Monarchs, an FCS team that dropped to 2-1.

Surratt, who started the game despite missing the second half a week earlier in a loss to Louisville with a hip injury, directed the offense until the fourth quarter. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 257 yards without an interception.

Surratt scored on a 3-yard run and a 10-yard run for North Carolina‘s first two touchdowns.

Brown, who rushed for 125 yards on 17 carries, had scoring runs of 15 and 5 yards.

Carter finished with 67 yards on 13 carries, scoring on a 3- and 1-yard runs.

Old Dominion didn’t often dent the Tar Heels’ much-maligned defense until the outcome no longer seemed in question. The Monarchs’ first-half points came courtesy of Isaiah Harper’s 100-yard kickoff return after North Carolina built a 25-0 advantage.

Steven Williams threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Travis Fulgham and an 18-yard touchdown pass to Hasaan Patterson.

North Carolina has won its road opener for the third year in a row.