{{ timeAgo('2020-01-09 13:22:05 -0600') }} football Edit

Season Breakdown: UNC's Passing Offense

Beau Corrales (pictured) and the Tar Heels were quite prolific in the passing game this season, as the stats reveal.
Beau Corrales (pictured) and the Tar Heels were quite prolific in the passing game this season, as the stats reveal. (Jenna Miller, THI)

THI digs deep into North Carolina’s statistics from both sides of the ball from the 2019 season that concluded with a 55-13 rout of Temple in the Military Bowl.

UNC won its final three games by a combined score of 152-30 and finished the season with a 7-6 overall record, including 4-4 in the ACC.

Here is a breakdown of UNC’s offensive passing game stats:

Passing Game

*UNC’s passing game is ranked No. 25 in the nation with 285 yards per game and is ranked No. 12 in passing efficiency.

*Sam Howell completed 259 passes in 422 attempts this season (61.4 percent) for 3,641 yards, 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The other Tar Heels attempted just six passes on the season.

*150 of his completions went for 10 or more yards.

*33 of his 38 touchdown passes went for 20 or more yards, 14 went for 30 or more, 10 for 40-plus, five for 50 or more and three went for 60-plus yards. The average distance of his TD passes was 26.5 yards.

*Howell was one of only two major college quarterbacks this season to pass for 3,000-plus yards, 35-plus touchdowns and throw seven or fewer interceptions. The other is Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.

*The Tar Heels are ranked No. 113 in the nation having allowed 37 sacks this season. PFF has assigned reasonability for the sacks to: Howell 10; Brian Anderson 6; Jordan Tucker 3; Javonte Williams 2; and 1 each for Jace Ruder; Ed Montilus, Marcus McKethan, Michael Carter, Carl Tucker, Antonio Williams and Nick Polino.

*UNC’s QBs were hurried 90 times with PFF crediting them to: Jordan Tucker 15; Charlie Heck 14; Howell 11; Anderson 9; Montilus 8; McKethan 8; Joshua Ezeudu 5; Garrett Walston 5; Polino 4; J. Williams 3; Carter 3; Jake Bargas 2; and 1 each for Ruder, Billy Ross and Carl Tucker.

*In addition to being sacked 37 times, Howell had six passes batted down, threw away the ball 21 times and had 32 passes dropped. He also scrambled 22 times.

*Howell was blitzed 151 times and completed 83 of 132 passes (62.9 percent) for 1,259 yards, 16 TDs and one interception. He was also sacked 13 times, had three passes batted down, eight passes were dropped and he threw away four passes.

*Howell was under pressure 147 times and was 41-for-99 with 684 yards, eight TDs and four interceptions. He was sacked 36 times, had two passes batted down, two were dropped and he threw away the ball 17 times.

Passing Direction

*Howell was 61-for-64 with 431 yards, 3 TDs and one interception on passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

*Howell was 106-for-135 with 1,036 yards, 7 TDs and one interception on passes thrown between 0-9 yards downfield.

*Howell was 54-for-100 with 832 yards, 7 TDs and one interception on passes thrown between 10-19 yards downfield.

*Howell was 38-for-90 with 1,339 yards, 21 TDs and three interceptions on passes thrown 20 or more yards downfield.


*Touchdowns: Dyami Brown 12; Dazz Newsome 10; Beau Corrales 6; Antoine Green 2; Michael Carter 2; and one each for Sam Howell, Jake Bargas, Emery Simmons, Carl Tucker, Garrett Walston, Javonte Williams and Toe Groves.

*First downs: Newsome 50; Brown 37; Corrales 28; Groves 17; J. Williams 10; Carter 10; Green 6; Walston 5; Carl Tucker 3; Roscoe Johnson 2; Howell 2; Simmons 2; Kamari Morales 1; Bargas 1.

*Yards after the catch: Newsome 413; Brown 298; J. Williams 250; Carter 241; Corrales 189; Groves 100; Green 70; Walston 40; Howell 35; Johnson 26; Carl Tucker 19; Simmons 12; Antonio Williams 10.

*Longest gains per player: Green 68; Brown 66; Newsome 57; Carter 41; Corrales 41; Simmons 33; Johnson 31; J. Williams 26; Groves 25; Howell 18; Carl Tucker 16; Walston 16; Morales 9; Bargas 9; A. Williams 7.

Drops: Brown 9; Newsome 8; Corrales 7; Groves 5; and 1 each for Carl Tucker, Green and Carter.


*Newsome was targeted 99 times with 72 receptions for 1,018 yards.

*Brown was targeted 84 times with 51 receptions for 1,034 yards.

*Corrales was targeted 65 times with 40 reception for 575 yards.

*Groves was targeted 45 times with 26 receptions for 247 yards.

*Carter was targeted 24 times with 21 receptionists for 154 yards.

*Green was targeted 19 times with 8 receptions for 217 yards.

*Walston was targeted 17 times with 9 receptions for 76 yards.

*J. Williams was targeted 17 times with 17 receptions for 176 yards.

*Carl Tucker was targeted 9 times with 5 receptions for 54 yards.

*Simmons was targeted 5 times with 4 receptions for 73 yards.

*Howell was targeted 3 times with 3 receptions for 23 yards.

*Bargas was targeted 3 times with 3 receptions for 15 yards.

*A. Williams was targeted 3 times with 2 receptions for 4 yards.

*Johnson was targeted 2 times with 2 receptions for 39 yards.

*Morales was targeted once with one reception for 9 yards.

*Some of these numbers are courtesy of Pro Football Focus (PFF).