This season has had its fair share of ups and downs for Carolina College Football. The only school that has been able to weather the storm is the now 8-0 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Coming into the week ranked No.13 in the AP Poll, Sam Hartman continued to carry the offense on his back, easily rumbling past Duke 45-7. Hartman continues to climb up the Heisman ladder with 463 total yards of offense and five touchdowns in this game. More impressive, Hartman put up these monstrous stats through only three quarters. Only playing one snap in the fourth quarter in which Hartman capped off a six-play drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Morin. This put the Deacs up 45-0 and Hartman’s services were no longer required. The Blue Devils scored their lone touchdown on a two-yard run by Riley Leonard in garbage time. With this victory and some other upsets around the league, Wake Forest sits at No.9 in the AP Poll, their highest ranking in school history.
On the flip side, Coastal Carolina fell out of the AP Poll after a 35-28 win over Troy. With the Chanticleers loss to Appalachian last week and a narrow victory over an unranked Trojan team, the Chanticleers are not the same explosive offensive over these past two games costing them their spot in the AP Poll. Ranked No.24 coming into the week, Coastal Carolina needed to flex their might as unranked Wisconsin upset No.9 Iowa justifying the Badgers a spot in the AP poll. The Chanticleers had a terrible start as early in the first quarter the Trojans ran a jet-sweep to Tez Johnson for 64 yards. This play continued to show that the way to beat the Chanticleers is at their own game, big explosive plays as the Mountaineers had last week. The Trojans would later score on this drive with a 11-yard touchdown pass from Gunnar Watson to Deyunkrea Lewis to give Troy an early 7-0 lead.
Fortunately for Chanticleer fans, this would be the first and last lead that Troy would have in this game. Grayson McCall got his team back on track with three touchdowns. A two-yard scramble tied the game up at 7-7 after two big yardage plays, getting points the Chanticleer way with a 66-yard touchdown to Jaivon Heiligh and a 71-yard touchdown to Braydon Bennett gave the Chanticleers a 21-14 lead at the half.
Shemari Jones would add two touchdowns in the second half while the Trojans continued to keep the game competitive scoring touchdowns on two of their four second-half drives. With Coastal Carolina leading 35-28 and three and a half minutes remaining in the game, the Chanticleers lined up in punt formation on fourth down with four yards needed for a first down. The ball was then snapped to C.J. Brewer instead of the punter who would run this trick play for a 12-yard gain allowing the Chanticleers to run down the clock and ultimately win the game. Coastal’s coach, Jamey Chadwell later contributed this play to a quote Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach, Bruce Arians puts on his play sheet “No risk it, no biscuit.” This risk paid off here but with four games left against unranked teams with three of four having negative records, a climb up the AP Poll could prove difficult.
The North Carolina Tar Heels stayed competitive in their first of three straight matchups against ranked teams. The No.11 Fighting Irish were able to overcome the Tar Heel efforts with a strong second half resulting in a 44-34 victory. Sam Howell had one of his better games of the season with 432 yards of total offense and two touchdowns against a tough Notre Dame defense. On the other side of the ball running back, Kyren Williams dominated the ground game with 199 yards including a “highlight reel run” as the announcer called it in which Williams appeared to be down in the backfield, broke multiple tackles, and ran 91-yards for a score. This game was back and forth in its entirety until down 38-27 after Williams monster run, Sam Howell overthrew his receiver and was intercepted by DJ Brown giving the momentum and later the win to Notre Dame. The Tar Heels continue their disappointing season now with a 4-4 record and matchups against No.9 Wake Forest and No.25 Pittsburgh on the horizon.
Other Notable Finals:
NC State jumps back into the AP Poll after a one-week hiatus and a win over Louisville 28-13
Chase Brice throws four touchdowns as Appalachian State dominates UL Monroe for a 59-28 victory
Charlotte continues their downward spiral in a 45-13 beatdown by Western Kentucky
ECU bounces back from a two-game losing skid with a 29-14 win over South Florida
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