Virginia Tech recovered a UNC fumble on its own two, then easily went 98-yards in 18 plays to defeat North Carolina 22-19.
On play No. 18, Ryan Willis hit Dalton Keene for a 1-yard touchdown. Willis then hit Damon Hazelton on a similar play for the two-point conversion crushing UNC’s hopes of a upset over the Hokies. On the game-wining drive, Virginia Tech converted four third downs, and one fourth down play for the win.
BIG PLAY FOR NOTHING
4Q, 5:13: Nathan Elliott hit Carl Tucker for a gain on 80-yards and it looked like North Carolina was about to put away Virginia Tech. Elliott hit Tucker streaking down the middle of the field and the Tar Heels were in the redzone and in business. The drive would not end as UNC fans expected. Michael Carter was hit going into the endzone and the ball popped free. Virginia Tech’s Jovonn Quilen recovered the ball and UNC came up empty after their biggest play of the game.
JONES CONNECTS AGAIN
4Q, 9:59: Freeman Jones’ fourth field goal of the night gave UNC a 19-14 lead over Virginia Tech. The kick by Jones capped off a 12-play, 62-yard drive, that knocked five minutes off the clock.
UNC ROLLS INTO THE FOURTH AFTER TURNOVER
3Q: J.K. Britt picked off a Virginia Tech pass to stop a scoring drive, and UNC lead the Hokies 16-14 to start the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels out gained Virginia Tech 377-256 after three quarters of play.
VIRGINIA TECH ANSWERS
3Q, 7:17: Virginia Tech countered North Carolina’s long scoring drive, with a 75-yard drive of their own, taking just 11 plays to find the endzone. On second and six, Ryan Willis hit Sean Savoy for a 13-yard touchdown, pulling the Hokies to within two, 16-14. Virginia Tech was a perfect 3-3 on third downs on the scoring drive, including a 33-yard pass from Willis to Eric Kumah on third and eight.
HEELS STRIKE EARLY
3Q, 12:02: North Carolina’s defense came up with a stop on the opening drive of the third quarter, then went on a 68-yard scoring drive, capped off with their first touchdown of the evening. Nathan Elliott hit Anthony Ratliff-Williams for a three-yard score to put Carolina up 16-7 after the extra point.
Michael Carter broke for a 49-yard gain on the first play of the drive to spark the offense. Carter has 113 yards on 13 carries.
Halftime: North Carolina out gained Virginia Tech 262-118 through two quarters of play, but the Tar Heels were unable to find the end zone. Senior kicker Freeman Jones provided all nine of UNC’s first half points, connecting on field goals of 33, 30 and 22 yards as the Heels led 9-7 at the break.
Freshman quarterback Cade Fortin, in his first career start, completed 10 of 18 passes for 97 yards in the first half, and rushed for 56. However, the Tar Heels could never punch it in the end zone, settling for three field goals from Jones.
VIRGINIA TECH’S DEFENSE COMES UP BIG
2Q, 5:40: Carolina got off to a good start on its third drive of the second quarter, but Virginia Tech stopped the Tar Heels cold on a fourth and one. UNC gained 31 yards on their first two plays, loss one on a run play on first and 10, then Fortin threw an incomplete pass. On third and 11, Fortin hit Dazz Newsome for a gain on 10, but the Hokies defense stopped Antonio Williams on fourth and one to force a turnover on downs.
FORTIN SHOWS OFF WHEELS ON SCORING DRIVE
1Q, 1:11: True freshman quarterback Cade Fortin, making his first career start, picked up 40 yards on the ground to lead the Tar Heels to their second scoring drive. On third and 11, Fortin tucked the football and took off for a 40-yard gain to the 12-yard line. Michael Carter scored on the next play but the points were taken off the board after a holding call against the Tar Heels. UNC ended the drive with a 30-yard field goal by Freeman Jones, pulling the Tar Heels to within one, 7-6.
HOKIES MAKE HEELS PAY FOR TURNOVER
1Q, 13:05: North Carolina fumbled on its first play from scrimmage and Virginia Tech wasted little time taking advanage. The Hokies got the ball at the 45, and took just four plays to score. Quarterback Ryan Willis faked out the entire UNC defense and rushed 33 yards untouched for the first touchdown of the night, giving Virginia Tech an early 7-0 lead.
TAR HEELS GET DEFENSIVE STARTER BACK EARLIER THAN EXPECTED
North Carolina defensive end Malik Carney will suit up and play tonight against Virginia Tech. Carney, a senior from Alexandria, Va. was one of 13 players suspended at the beginning of the season for selling school issued sneakers and was supposed to serve a four-game suspension. But it was announced before kickoff that Carney would play since the Tar Heels would be without defensive linemen Jalen Dalton and Tyrone Hopper.
In two games this season, Carney has 13 tackles and two forced fumbles. Carney will serve the rest of his suspension at a later date this season.