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North Carolina blows past Syracuse 31-6 in opener

North Carolina blows past Syracuse 31-6 in opener

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Syracuse defenders swarm to bring down UNC's Michael Carter.

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina's football team started slowly but finished strong today, rolling past Syracuse 31-6 in empty Kenan Stadium.

The 18th-ranked Tar Heels wore down the visiting Orange in a second-half rout, finishing with 463 total yardw. Anemic Syracuse gained 68 yards rushing.

Carolina led 7-6 late in the third quarter, but three rushing touchdowns by junior running back Javonte Williams wore down Syracuse.

The game was played without fans in the stands. A last-minute request from Coach Mack Brown to Gov. Roy Cooper to allow players’ parents to attend was to no avail.

Sophomore quarterback Sam Howell completed 25 of 34 passes for 295 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito was 13-of-31 for 112 yards.

UNC returns home next Saturday to play Charlotte.

Contact Ed Hardin at 336-373-7069, and follow @Ed_Hardin on Twitter.

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