North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams may not have seen South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore twice in the end zone Thursday night. But you can be sure he’ll be seeing him a lot in his thoughts for the rest of the season.
Williams threw two costly interceptions to Moore – one in the first quarter and one when North Carolina was clinging to hope in the fourth quarter – and his Tar Heels fell 17-13 to the Gamecocks in Charlotte.
The plays were very similar too. Both times Williams was looking for a receiver near the back of the end zone and both times he made the throw while on the run. And both times Moore was sitting in underneath coverage at the front of the end zone. If Williams saw him, each throw was incredibly poor. It’s more likely that he didn’t. They were like missiles locked in on Moore’s hands.
The second interception came on fourth down with under four minutes remaining. North Carolina had a goal-to-go situation at the South Carolina eight and instead of opting for a field goal and a potential 17-16 deficit, North Carolina chose to go for the touchdown and the lead. It clearly didn’t end well.
South Carolina got its go-ahead touchdown off a 48-yard run by Shon Carson, one of his four carries during the game.
The Gamecocks turned to the run in the second half after it had limited success through the air. And also because starting quarterback Connor Mitch headed to the locker room in the third quarter with what ESPN said was a possible left hip injury. South Carolina finished with 47 carries for 254 yards rushing while going just 12-27 for 140 yards through the air.
Williams finished with three interceptions. His other one also potentially cost the Tar Heels points as it came in the red zone. He ended the game 19-31 passing for 232 yards and one touchdown. Was Thursday night’s game an indicator of things to come for both teams? Fans of each side probably hope it wasn’t. It was filled with penalties and sloppy play, not atypical for an opening game of the season.
For more North Carolina news, visit TarHeelIllustrated.com.
For more South Carolina news, visit GamecockCentral.com.
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