North Carolina looks about as comfortable as a team could be, and why not? The Tar Heels are suited up in their home uniforms and playing in Charlotte, North Carolina. After one half of play, only a key injury on the offensive line has taken away from the performance put together against Cincinnati. North Carolina leads Cincinnati 23-3.
North Carolina senior left tackle James Hurst was taken out of the game in the first quarter with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. The video replay of the injury was not shown on the broadcast, which suggests the injury was significant. He was helped off the field by medical staff without planting any weight on his left leg on the way to the sideline and he was later carted off the field.
In similar fashion to last year’s Belk Bowl, Cincinnati dug a hole early. Last year the Bearcats managed to dig out of the early deficit to beat Duke, so time will tell if the same winning formula can be found. It does not look good though as things got away from them early in this one. North Carolina struck first with a short touchdown run by Romar Morris. The teams then traded punts, with North Carolina pinning Cincinnati against their own goal line. The defense took advantage with a push up the middle to bring down Cincinnati quarterback Brendon Kay for a safety. Kareem Martin and Brandon Ellerbe each got credit for the two-point sack. To capitalize on the sequence, T.J. Logan returned the free kick 78 yards for a touchdown and a 16-0 lead.