UNC-Chapel Hill quarterback Sam Howell had an absolutely incredible outing on Saturday. The sophomore QB’s performance set records all across the board, throwing for 550 yards and collecting seven total touchdowns — six passing and one rushing. His 500-plus yard day sets an all-time school record for single-game passing numbers.
Howell’s historic performance led the Tar Heels to their sixth victory of the season in dramatic comeback fashion. After trailing 45-24 midway through the third quarter to Wake Forest, the star quarterback and his team mustered a 35-0 run to take the lead late in the fourth.
I think it's fair to say Sam Howell had one of the best games by a QB this season…
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 14, 2020
This kind of stat line is rarely achieved in the college game. In fact, Howell becomes only the second player in ACC history with six passing touchdowns and one rushing in a single game. The only other player to stuff the stat sheet like this was NFL MVP Lamar Jackson back in 2016 when Louisville routed UNC-Charlotte 70-14.
The difference here is UNC needed every bit of its quarterback’s show-stopping performance. Howell is the first ACC player to achieve this stat line against a conference opponent.
Sam Howell is the 2nd player in ACC history with 6 pass TD and 1 rush TD in a game, joining Lamar Jackson in 2016 vs UNC Charlotte. Howell is the only player to do this in an ACC conference game. pic.twitter.com/xzHHUd2fLs
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 14, 2020
Before the 2020 season began, Howell was listed by many as a dark-horse Heisman contender. Saturday’s performance no doubt pushed him further into that conversation. The QB has thrown for 2,081 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season so far.
UNC started the year with three solid wins over ACC opponents, earning them an early-season top-five ranking. Since then, the Tar Heels have suffered some devastating blows, losing two games by a combined six points.
With two straight wins, including Saturday’s come-from-behind victory, the Heels look to be back on track. UNC’s overall record of 6-2 will likely propel them back into the top 25 this week.
The Tar Heels face their toughest matchup of the season next week when they take on No. 2 Notre Dame. Howell will need to deliver yet another Heisman-level performance if his team wants a chance to take down the undefeated Fighting Irish.
The game will be played at 3:30 p.m. E.T. in Chapel Hill on Friday.