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QB Drake Maye, No. 14 North Carolina overwhelm Syracuse

Drake Maye passed for 442 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing score to highlight a dominant performance by No. 14 North Carolina, which rolled over visiting Syracuse 40-7 on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Tar Heels (5-0, 2-0 ACC) outgained the Orange 644-221 and scored on eight of their first nine possessions in remaining perfect on the season. Nate McCollum (seven catches, 135 yards) and Kobe Paysour (three catches, 100 yards, one TD) were among North Carolina’s receiving standouts.

Garrett Shrader went 15 of 21 for 124 yards with an interception for Syracuse (4-2, 0-2). LeQuint Allen chipped in 38 rushing yards and a score.

The first half was an absolute mismatch, as the Tar Heels scored on all five of their possessions, while the Orange punted on all four of their possessions before kneeling to end the half. North Carolina outgained Syracuse 424-70 in the opening 30 minutes.

North Carolina’s first two drives were time-consuming treks — a 14-play drive that resulted in a 29-yard field goal by Noah Burnette and a 16-play, 94-yard march that ended in Maye’s 1-yard TD run. The Tar Heels actually punted in the middle of that drive, but the kick was blocked by the Orange and recovered by North Carolina for a first down.

After a three-and-out by Syracuse, the hosts marched down the field and cashed in on Maye’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Nesbit. The next Tar Heels drive ended with another TD pass, this one a 1-yard connection from Maye to John Copenhaver.

The cherry on top of the dominant first half was a 24-yard field goal by Burnette in the waning seconds.

Syracuse finally woke up on the opening possession of the second half. Shrader’s 34-yard pass to Umari Hatcher highlighted a drive that ended with Allen’s 1-yard TD plunge.

The Tar Heels’ offense was not to be denied, however, as Maye’s 32-yard pass to McCollum set up Burnette’s 36-yard field goal. Shortly thereafter, Maye hit Paysour for a 77-yard touchdown pass in which the wideout tipped it to himself and ran the distance to make it 37-7.

–Field Level Media

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