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UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel sports. Beat writer Andrew Carter has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @_andrewcarter or @accnow.

UNC leads Middle Tennessee State 23-0 at halftime

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CHAPEL HILL — After a dominant first half, North Carolina holds a 23-0 halftime lead against Middle Tennessee State here at Kenan Stadium.

The Tar Heels scored touchdowns on their first two drives – the scores coming on a 26-yard run from Romar Morris, and a 1-yard run from quarterback Bryn Renner – and UNC held the Blue Raiders to 21 yards of offense on their final five drives of the half.

Overall, UNC outgained Middle Tennessee 326 yards to 99. The Blue Raiders started strongly on offense, and converted three first downs on their first drive before reaching the Tar Heels’ 1-yard line, where Middle Tennessee had a 1st-and-goal after Logan Kilgore’s touchdown pass to Kyle Griswold was overturned on a replay.

After a false start penalty, UNC safety Tre Boston intercepted Kilgore’s pass in the end zone. From there, the Tar Heels went on a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Morris’ 26-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.

UNC’s defense forced a punt on Middle Tennessee’s next drive, and the Tar Heels’ 10-play, 73-yard drive ended with Renner’s 1-yard scoring run, which came on 4th-and-goal and gave UNC a 13-0 lead. Morris scored again, on a 1-yard run, with 4 minutes, 31 seconds to play before halftime, and Thomas Moore made a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the half to give UNC a 23-0 lead.

Morris gained 43 yards on nine carries during the first half. Renner, meanwhile, completed 11 of his 14 attempts for 219 yards.

The Tar Heels already have more yards than they had during their 27-10 season-opening loss against South Carolina.

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About the blogger

Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.