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(Saturday, October 27)
Final Score: North Carolina 43, NC State 35
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Giovanni Bernard returned a punt 74 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining to help the North Carolina Tar Heels beat in-state rival North Carolina State, 43-35, at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Bernard also ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (6-3, 3-2 ACC) while racking up a career-high 95 yards on eight catches. Quarterback Bryn Renner threw for 358 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 30-of-47 passing. Kevin Reddick led the defense with two sacks and three tackles for loss.
It was a disappointing loss for NC State (5-3, 2-2), which led by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter. Quarterback Mike Glennon had the best game of his career despite the loss, throwing for 467 yards and five touchdowns on 29- of-52 passing. His 467 yards is a career-high and fourth all-time on the NC State single-game passing yards list. He was also intercepted twice, but a dropped pass led to one of them. Bryan Underwood and Tobias Palmer each went over 100 yards receiving for the Wolfpack. Underwood also caught two touchdowns, giving him at least one in every game this season.
UNC jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead less than four minutes into the first quarter. After a six-play, 85-yard drive, Bernard ran it in from eight yards out. After forcing a Wolfpack three-and-out, Erik Highsmith took a reverse 45 yards for another score. Thomas Hibbard then hit Jack Tabb for a surprise two-point conversion.
UNC went on to score on all four of it's first quarter possessions. Following the Highsmith touchdown, Casey Barth kicked a 45-yard field goal and Bernard added his second rushing score late in the quarter to give UNC it's highest scoring quarter since it put up 28 in the first quarter against Idaho in week five.
Glennon never lost his composure despite the early deficit and three first quarter drops from his receivers, leading two impressive first-quarter touchdown drives. The first ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Hegedus, his first career scoring reception, and the second was a 30-yard scoring strike to Rashard Smith that came with just 35 seconds remaining in the period. After one quarter, UNC led 25-14.
NC State grabbed the momentum early in the second quarter when Glennon found Underwood, who entered the game with the second-most touchdown receptions in the ACC, for a 20-yard score. UNC had a chance to add to it's lead midway through the second quarter but Barth missed a field goal from 48 yards out. Glennon came right back and gave the Wolfpack their first lead, this time finding a wide open Parker 83 yards down field for another touchdown.
Both quarterbacks threw late interceptions and NC State took a 28-25 lead into halftime. The two teams each converted 15 first downs and racked up over 350 net yards in the half.
After a high-scoring first half, the third quarter was more of a defensive struggle. NC State scored the only points of the period on a late bomb from Glennon to Underwood for his fifth touchdown throw of the game. Underwood beat two defenders with a double move and Glennon hit him in stride, giving the Wolfpack a 10-point lead heading into the final frame.
Renner's first touchdown pass of the game, a three-yard strike to Sean Tapley, came with 10:52 remaining in the game and cut the NC State lead to three. It remained that way until Barth kicked the game-tying field goal with 1:24 left to play. NC State failed to pick up a first down on the ensuing possession, which led to Bernard's heroics and a subsequent two-point conversion.
UNC won despite gaining just 126 total yards after the first quarter. The hosts lead the all-time series over NC State, 64-32-6.
10/27 18:13:24 ET