Shrine Bowl Notebook

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- North Carolina's lack of offense led to a 42-10 loss to South Carolina in the 74th Annual Shrine Bowl, on Saturday afternoon.

"It was going to be a hard battle [with JaDeveon] Clowney and they had a lot of good defensive players," UNC verbal commitment Marquise Williams said.

On 44 offensive plays, the Tar Heels had 75 total yards, six first downs, and no touchdowns. A third of those first downs were attributed to penalties.

"I wish I would have gotten more snaps," Williams said. "I got a half of a quarter worth of snaps.

"Plus, you're not going to win the game when you keep running the ball into a wall. We're down on the two-yard line and you've got a big quarterback like me; you might as well let me punch it in."

Despite the lack of snaps, Williams led North Carolina in passing with 42 yards on 3-of-9 throws. He also had a five-yard rush.

North Carolina's other quarterback, Georgia Tech pledge Vad Lee, started the game and was 4-of-8 passing for 26 yards.

Pocket Breaker

One of North Carolina's few bright spots was the play of UNC verbal commitment Shawn Underwood. Despite playing an unfamiliar position of nose tackle in a ‘50' scheme, Underwood was constantly collapsing the South Carolina pocket.

"They were telling me this week [during practice] about going off the center and creating a new line-of-scrimmage," Underwood said. "I was also able to get a good get-off."

Although the stat sheet doesn't completely display his influence, Underwood collected four tackles (three solo).

"I [predominantly] play defensive end at my high school," Underwood said. "It was a big transition going from end to nose."

The defense held South Carolina to seven points in the first half. However, the Sandlappers would explode in the final two quarters for 35 points.

"The defense was on the field a lot," Underwood said. "The only thing you can do is hope that your offense picks it up for the next series, which never happened.

Ellerbe's Birthday Present

For Brandon Ellerbe's birthday, Tennessee verbal commitment Justin Worley gift wrapped an interception into the chest of the UNC verbal commitment. Ellerbe, who started at strong safety, gladly accepted the present and returned it 44 yards for North Carolina's lone touchdown.

"I was just sitting on the hash, he threw it, I was just waiting on it, and I broke on the ball," said Ellerbe, who turned 18 years old. "It landed right in my hands so I took it to the crib – pick six."

In addition to the interception, Ellerbe had three solo tackles.

"I wanted to win, but it wasn't about the score," Ellerbe said. "I was just thankful to be out here playing… If we would have won, it wouldn't have been our win – it would have been the Shriner [kids] win. We're out here playing for the kids."

North Carolina Unable to Stop Clowney

South Carolina defensive MVP JaDeveon Clowney was unstoppable. He was credited with five tackles (2 solo), including three sacks, and two QB hurries.

"He's a good player," said UNC verbal commitment Jarrod James, who was charged with blocking Clowney for much of the game from the left tackle position. "I came out with intentions to play my best [and] play my hardest, and I felt like I did that. The outcome just wasn't in my favor."

In addition to disrupting North Carolina's offense, Clowney's pressure also drew James into a couple of holding penalties.

"I play to win," James said. "I'd rather hold and take the penalty than get my quarterback knocked out of the game – point blank. If I held, hey, there's next play."

No Running Game

South Carolina held North Carolina to seven yards on 27 rushing attempts.

"We couldn't get pass protection [and] they disrupted our run game," UNC verbal commitment Travis Riley said. "We had a few things here and there, but it just wasn't consistent enough to put anything together."

Not helping the situation was Riley's fumble at South Carolina's three-yard line, which would have given North Carolina a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

"I was frustrated, because two times in a row I got stopped and I was having a hard time getting in the end zone," Riley said. "I guess I forgot to hold onto the football."

Riley finished with minus-one yard on five carries. He also had a six-yard reception.

Thorpe Continues Kick Return Rep

UNC verbal commitment T.J. Thorpe returned four kickoffs for 104 yards, including a long of 50. Thorpe also had one catch for eight yards.

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