EditorsNote: Adds Military Bowl in 1st graf
Freshman quarterback Sam Howell threw three touchdown passes and also caught a touchdown pass in his first postseason game as North Carolina defeated Temple 55-13 on Friday afternoon in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md.
It’s the first bowl victory for North Carolina since 2013.
The Tar Heels (7-6) finished with a winning record for the first time in three seasons, winning their final three games of 2019 to do so.
Dazz Newsome caught two touchdown passes and running back Antonio Williams rushed for two touchdowns. Howell finished 25-for-34 passing for 294 yards without an interception.
Temple starting quarterback Anthony Russo was 12-for-20 for 128 yards and one interception.
North Carolina stretched a 20-6 halftime lead by scoring three touchdowns in slightly more than eight minutes to begin the second half.
Williams ran 1 yard to complete an 83-yard drive on the first possession after halftime.
Then just 12 seconds later, North Carolina freshman defensive back Storm Duck returned an interception of Russo 20 yards for a touchdown.
Receiver Rontavius Groves threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Howell on a third-quarter gadget play, giving the Tar Heels the first 21 points of the second half.
Temple (8-5) finally responded on Todd Centeio’s 45-yard pass play to Re’Mahn Davis.
In the fourth quarter, Newsome caught a 29-yard touchdown pass and Williams ran for a 2-yard touchdown.
Before halftime, Temple appeared ready to pull within 17-13 when Noah Ruggles’ field goal attempt for North Carolina was blocked and returned for a touchdown. But an offsides penalty negated the play. Ruggles then kicked a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for a 20-6 lead.
Howell threw first-half touchdown passes for 39 yards to Dyami Brown and 16 yards to Newsome.
Temple’s first-half points came on Davis’ 4-yard run midway through the second quarter. The extra-point attempt was blocked.
This was North Carolina’s first bowl appearance since 2016.
This was the first meeting between the teams.
—Field Level Media