A Black Friday for Carolina Tar Heels - TribPapers

A Black Friday for Carolina Tar Heels

The UNC Tarheels readys an offensive play against the NC State Wolfpack. Photo by Clint Parker.

Chapel Hill – It was truly a black Friday for fans of the North Carolina Tar Heels last Friday (November 25th). Not the kind of black Friday that retailers hope for the day after Thanksgiving, but the kind that occurred in 1869 when the stock market crashed.

According to a November 18, 2022, article by Margaret Darby, “In the present day, Black Friday is defined by impressive sales and hordes of shoppers. But the origin of the term ‘Black Friday’ has nothing to do with shopping sales. Black Friday was originally coined in 1869 after a major stock market crash. Investors Jay Gould and Jim Fisk planned a scheme to tank the stock market and make millions. On Sept. 24th, 1869, the pair of investors hoarded as much gold as they could. It sent the stock market crashing by 20% and the value of gold skyrocketed.”

Tar Heel fans might start referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday since both their 18th-ranked football and their 1st-ranked basketball teams suffered losses within minutes of each other’s games.

The UNC Heels football team was trying to finish with a 10-win season by defeating the NC State Wolfpack. UNC hoped to come back from a loss it suffered the prior Saturday to the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (21-17), concluding their season strong going into the ACC championship game. However, a botched field goal attempt in double overtime ended the Heels’ effort to overcome the Wolfpack in what was an exciting game against their rivals.

Tar Heel Head Coach Mack Brown had won every game this season, usually by the smallest of margins. His team is now 9-3.

When the Tar Heels’ receivers were unable to catch the ball during the first drive of the game, it was clear that something was still wrong with the team.While UNC scored first, they had to settle for only a field goal after the Wolfpack’s defense stopped their drive, unsure their offense could pull off a fourth down miracle as they have for much of the season. The Pack would also add seven to end the first quarter 7-3, with the Heels trailing.

In the second quarter, the Pack added 10 to their score, and it appeared that the Heels would go into halftime down 17-3, but an interception breathed new life into the Heels, and at the half, it was 17-10, with UNC down by only a touchdown.

The third quarter was a contest of defense, where neither team scored any points. In the fourth quarter, the Pack and the Heels added seven each to make the score 24-17. With less than four minutes remaining, the Heels mounted a drive that ended with a pass to the endzone by redshirt freshman quarterback Drake Maye being waved off.

NC State players began celebrating, but it was premature as the officials said there were two seconds left in regulation. Maye found the magic he had shown all season, delivering a pass to Antoine Green in the back of the end zone with a good point after an attempt tied the score and sent the game into overtime.

In the first overtime, both teams settled for field goals. After another good field goal by the Pack, it was up to Heels kicker Noah Burnette to keep Carolina alive in double overtime. Burnette had already missed a field goal earlier in the night. His attempt here, in double overtime, was also wide, leading to the Tarheels’ defeat, 30-27. 

Just minutes after the football team lost on the gridiron, the top-ranked Tar Heels’ men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season against Iowa State, 70-65. The Heels’ basketball record now is 5-2 after a loss to Alabama in quadruple overtime on Sunday.

Maye, who many believe is in the running for the Heisman Trophy, needs a win over the 10-1 Clemson Tigers this Saturday (Dec. 3) to keep that running for the Heisman alive and to get a notable bowl invitation for UNC.

However, fans of the Heels might not get their hopes up too high as the football team periodically doesn’t look like they are ready for prime time. Black Friday, indeed!