TarHeelIllustrated - Sam Howell To Play In Duke's Mayo Bowl
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Sam Howell To Play In Duke's Mayo Bowl

UNC junior quarterback Sam Howell will play in the Tar Heels' bowl game, he confirmed with a tweet Tuesday night.
UNC junior quarterback Sam Howell will play in the Tar Heels' bowl game, he confirmed with a tweet Tuesday night. (Jenna Miller/THI)

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CHAPEL HILL – Sam Howell confirmed Tuesday night what a source had previously indicated to THI that he will play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30 when the Tar Heels take on South Carolina.

Howell, a junior who walked on Senior Day and is expected to formally enter the 2022 NFL Draft, likely will play his final game against the same program against which he made his college debut.

As a true freshman, Howell passed for 245 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Tar Heels to a come-from-behind victory over the Gamecocks at bank of American Stadium in Charlotte to kick off the 2019 season.

In his career to date, Howell has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 36 games in which he has played for the Tar Heels while setting numerous school records. Among those marks the Indian Trail, NC, native owns are most passing yards (10,078), most touchdown passes (91), total yards (11,074), and total touchdowns (110).

Sam Howell has scored 11 rushing touchdowns this season and run for 825 yards.
Sam Howell has scored 11 rushing touchdowns this season and run for 825 yards. (Kevin Roy/THI)

Howell has been sacked 44 times this season and has had just one reliable receiver, so the passing game was a bit more of a challenge than in the previous two campaigns. However, he still has completed 62.7 percent of his pass attempts for 2,851 yards, 23 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The yards and touchdowns are season lows for him, and the interceptions are the high mark for his career.

Yet, Howell found other ways to lead the Tar Heels to a No. 9 national ranking in total yardage, averaging 479.6 yards per contest, and No. 17 in scoring, averaging 36.4 points per outing. After rushing for only 181 yards in his first two seasons, Howell has 825 yards on the ground, which includes factoring in the 44 sacks for 243 yards.

In all, he’s averaging 4.9 yards per rushing attempt, but removing the sacks and associated yards lost, Howell has 1,068 yards, which would give him an average of 8.5 yards per rushing attempt. He has 11 runs of 15 or more yards and 44 carries of 10 or more yards. He ran for 100 or more yards in five games this season, plus Howell twice finished games with 98 yards. He has 11 touchdowns on the ground this season, as well.

Howell’s overall PFF rating this season is 90.0.