UNC blasts Western Carolina to win second straight

Tar Heels running back Jordon Brown carries the ball as Western Carolina defensive lineman Solomon Clark defends during the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. (Rob Kinnan / USA TODAY Sports)

Quarterback Nathan Elliott, in his first home start, threw four touchdown passes as North Carolina trounced Western Carolina 65-10 in Saturday’s nonconference game at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina scored three touchdowns in less than a three-minute span early in the second quarter to take control on the way to a 42-7 halftime lead.

The outcome gave North Carolina (3-8) a two-game winning streak going into next week’s finale at rival NC State. The result also snapped the Tar Heels‘ seven-game home-field losing streak that dated to last November.

Elliott finished 18-for-28 for 240 yards, completing 10 consecutive passes in the first half. He threw two touchdown strikes to Josh Cabrera. He did not play in the fourth quarter.

Tar Heels running backs Michael Carter (103 yards on 16 carries) and Jordon Brown (69 yards on 11 attempts) had big games. Carter had a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Former starting quarterback Chazz Surratt threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Beau Corrales in the fourth quarter. He later ran for a 59-yard touchdown, marking the Tar Heels‘ longest play from scrimmage of the season.

Western Carolina scored first on Tyrie Adams’ 1-yard pass to Connell Young on its second possession.

North Carolina answered on a nine-play drive with Anthony Ratliff-Williams scoring on a 15-yard pass from Elliott.

The Tar Heels went up less than a minute into the second quarter on Elliott’s 16-yard toss to Cabrera. Elliott threw 6 yards to tight end Brandon Fritts just 2:11 later.

The scoring burst continued for the Tar Heels when linebacker Jonathan Smith returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown.

Before halftime, Brown scored on a 3-yard run and Elliott hooked up with Cabrera again for an 18-yard pass play.

Western Carolina (7-5) likely needed to win to bolster its stock for inclusion in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.