For the second time in a month a T.J. Logan touchdown run in the final minute won a game for North Carolina.
His 2-yard run with 11 seconds to play helped the Tar Heels beat Georgia Tech on Oct. 18. Then, on Saturday, Logan’s 1-yard run with 50 seconds to play provided the winning points in UNC’s 40-35 victory against Pitt.
Logan, the sophomore from Greensboro, finished a season-high 92 yards rushing on 18 carries, which were the most he’s had in college. His production was especially important given UNC’s lack of backfield depth.
The Tar Heels were without the injured Elijah Hood, the freshman from Charlotte, and Khris Francis, a sophomore running back from Durham, suffered an injury Saturday.
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“He had to (play well), too,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said of Logan. “We were low on running backs today, especially with Khris going down. We needed him very much, and he did a really nice job.”
Terminator? Conner dominates: It was James Conner, the Pitt running back, who caused UNC all kinds of problems Saturday. That wasn’t unexpected, given he’s the ACC’s leading rusher.
Still, UNC linebacker Shakeel Rashad said, “I was convinced that his name was John Connor for a while – like the Terminator. He’s a great back. He’s huge. …
“He runs like he’s about 270, but a lot faster.”
Conner ran for a 56-yard touchdown on Pitt’s first possession and finished with 220 yards – the fifth-most the Tar Heels have ever allowed – and three more rushing touchdowns.
UNC sticks to 4-2-5 defense: Fedora spoke of the possibility of using a 4-3 defensive alignment on Saturday to combat Pitt’s size up front, but the Tar Heels mostly stuck to their base 4-2-5 scheme. Pitt’s starting offensive linemen, on average, outweighed UNC’s starting defensive linemen by 54 pounds.
The Panthers ran for 305 yards – the third-most UNC has allowed.
“We went to a big package there in a few situations and didn’t necessarily have success with it,” Fedora said. “So we just went back to doing things that we felt like we could be successful with.”