CCU’s Tolbert gets hat trick as Panthers trample Saints

Former Coastal Carolina standout Mike Tolbert ran for three touchdowns and backfield-mate DeAngelo Williams rushed for 210 yards as the Carolina Panthers rolled up 530 yards in total offense to defeat the New Orleans Saints 44-38 on Sunday at the Superdome.

The Panthers (7-9) rebounded from a 24-13 hole early in the second half with touchdowns on four of five possessions, two of which came at the end of 80-yard drives during which the Saints (7-9) could not stop Williams all over the field or Tolbert at the goalline.

The Panthers took a 10-0 lead on a 20-yard field goal by Graham Gano and a TD dive by Tolbert – set up by Williams’ 65-yard scamper to the Saints’ 1. The Panthers held a 223-58 edge in total offense before the Saints broke out of their doldrums by scoring two touchdowns in 43 seconds of the second quarter to take a 14-10 lead.

In the third quarter, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton found Steve Smith for 31 yards on a seam route, and Tolbert got the payoff with another 1-yard touchdown run, putting the Panthers up 27-24.

Tolbert got his third 1-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter, and Williams took advantage of Armanti Edwards’ 61-yard punt return for a 12-yard touchdown run off left tackle, extending the Carolina lead to 41-24 with 8:23 left. The Saints put together another late rally but were unable to stop the Panthers.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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