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UNC breaks open close one with dominant fourth, pastes UVa., 37-13

Down 20-13 with a minute to go in the third quarter, Virginia had a fourth-and-goal at the North Carolina 1. Punch it in, the game is tied.

Kevin Parks, instead, was tackled behind the line of scrimmage for a two-yard loss. The Tar Heels took the ensuing drive 97 yards on 12 plays for a backbreaking touchdown, and the rest was history as UNC dominated the Cavs in the fourth quarter en route to a 37-13 shellacking in Virginia’s 2012 home finale.

The fourth-quarter implosion included a maddening dropped pass on a bomb from Phillip Sims to Darius Jennings on a third-down play that would have been a sure touchdown, a shanked punt that gave Carolina a short field that it turned into another score, and an offsides penalty on a missed field goal that the Heels converted into three more points.

UVa. (4-7, 2-5 ACC) never led, as UNC (7-4, 4-3) got on the board first on a nine-yard TD pass from Bryn Renner to Erik Highsmith. After a 34-yard Drew Jarrett field goal, A.J. Blue extended the North Carolina lead to 14-3 with a three-yard second-quarter TD run.

Jennings caught a nine-yard TD pass from Phillip Sims midway through the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-10, and it stayed that way until Tre Boston intercepted a badly underthrown Michael Rocco pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown that made it 20-10 at the break.

UVa. converted a Giovani Bernard fumble on a punt deep in UNC territory into another Jarrett field goal to make it 20-13. Virginia threatened to tie the game late in the third, converting a fourth down in UNC territory to set up the first-and-goal situation before the Heels’ defense stiffened, reversing the game’s momentum for good.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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