Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 24, 2013
CHAPEL HILL — Marquise Williams began the season as North Carolina’s change-of-pace quarterback, a better runner than thrower. He’s quickly forging a new identity as the full-time starter for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina also looks like a new version of itself, now 6-5 after a 1-5 start.
Williams threw five first-half touchdown passes and T.J. Logan scored four touchdowns to help North Carolina to a record-setting 80-20 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday.
The Tar Heels set all-time records for points and touchdowns by the midpoint of the third quarter, and Williams set the single-game record for total yards on the Tar Heels’ fourth snap of the second half.
Just two of North Carolina’s 11 TDs came on possessions longer than 1 minute, 44 seconds. By mutual agreement of the coaches, the fourth quarter was shortened from 15 minutes to 10.
Williams finished 20 of 27 passing for 409 yards and rushed for 60 more, helping North Carolina to a school-record 721 yards. Williams tied the UNC mark for passing touchdowns and was third in single-game total yards by halftime.
“I thought he threw the ball pretty well today,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said. “He’s taking the ball and he’s putting it where it’s supposed to go.”
The point total was the second-most in ACC history, surpassed only by Clemson’s 82 in 1981 against Wake Forest. North Carolina’s basketball team scored 82 points Saturday in a win over another Virginia school, Richmond.
“We tried to beat the basketball score,” said Williams, who became the starter after senior Bryn Renner was lost to injury Nov. 2. “We (saw) they scored 82. We wanted coach to let us kick a field goal so we could get 83.”
The Tar Heels became bowl-eligible with their fifth consecutive victory, their longest win streak since 2001. The Monarchs (8-4), in a transition season from the Football Championship Subdivision to Football Bowl Subdivision, had their four-game win streak snapped.
“This one certainly didn’t go the way we had planned or the way we had hoped,” ODU coach Bobby Wilder said.
North Carolina outscored ODU 68-7 in the middle two quarters, behind a combined seven touchdowns from freshmen Logan and Ryan Switzer. Logan had two 1-yard runs, a 63-yard run and a 99-yard kickoff return. Switzer scored on receptions of 43 and 57 yards and added a 64-yard punt return that put the Tar Heels ahead by the final margin with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
Switzer’s punt-return score was his fourth in three games and tied the ACC single-season record. His three consecutive games with a punt-return touchdown tied an NCAA record.
“I just like competing,” Switzer said. “I don’t like fair-catching the ball.”
The Tar Heels outscored ODU 35-0 in the second quarter, tying the school record for points in a quarter. Old Dominion, trying for its second victory over an FBS team after winning 59-38 at Idaho two weeks earlier, couldn’t get its high-powered offense cranked up to match or even stay close to the Tar Heels.
North Carolina’s last 23 touchdowns, and all 11 against Old Dominion, have been scored by freshmen or sophomores.
“They’re making a lot of plays for us,” Fedora said. “Because these guys have grown up about midway through the season, you’ve started to see this team become much better.”