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(Saturday, October 6)
Final Score: North Carolina 48, Virginia Tech 34
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Giovani Bernard ran for a career-high 262 yards and a touchdown, as the North Carolina Tar Heels notched a 48-34 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Atlantic Coast Conference play from Kenan Stadium.
A.J. Blue scored twice on the ground and Sean Tapley notched a receiving touchdown and a kickoff return TD to help the Tar Heels (4-2, 1-1 ACC) claim their first win over Virginia Tech since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004.
Logan Thomas threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another for the Hokies (3-3, 1-1), who suffered their third loss in a span of four weeks after being ranked as high as No. 13 in the AP poll. Thomas finished with 20 of the team's 40 rushing yards, while Corey Fuller paced the air attack with 143 receiving yards and a TD on five catches.
The teams combined for 48 points in a back-and-forth first half. Virginia Tech scored on its fourth play from scrimmage, as Thomas crossed the goal line on a 13-yard scamper.
However, UNC's Tapley returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to the end zone, tying the score, 7-7.
Bryn Renner gave the Tar Heels a 14-7 lead on a four-yard touchdown run at the 4:41 mark of the first quarter.
Later in the opening frame, Thomas found Marcus Davis for a 49-yard scoring strike to make it a 14-14 game.
The Tar Heels regained the lead on the first play of the second quarter, as Bernard broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run.
The Hokies answered with a 14-play drive that lasted more than seven minutes, although they had to settle for a 40-yard field goal from Cody Journell.
UNC pushed its advantage to 28-17 with 4:09 remaining in the second quarter, as Blue capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.
Journell tacked on a 35-yard field goal in the final minute of the half, sending Virginia Tech into the locker room trailing, 28-20 at intermission.
The blistering scoring pace continued in the third quarter. Renner connected with Tapley for a 19-yard scoring strike at the 7:49 mark to push UNC's lead to 35-20.
Hokies' return man Demitri Knowles ran back the ensuing kickoff 93 yards to the house, quickly quieting the home crowd. They went for two to try and make it a one-possession game but could not convert, and the score remained 35-26.
The Tar Heels tacked on 10 straight points to close out the quarter. Casey Barth kicked a 44-yard field goal and Blue added his second rushing TD of the day, this time from 13 yards, to make it a 45-26 game.
VT climbed to within 45-34 on Thomas' 66-yard TD pass to Fuller with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation. However, UNC closed out the scoring with a 40-yard field goal by Barth.
UNC racked up 339 yards (7.5 ypc) and four TDs on the ground to improve to 4-0 at home this season.
10/06 17:28:39 ET
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