The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Durant Not Hurt by Short Week

Darian Durant is a quick learner.

Despite having a short week to prepare for Wake Forest because of the death of his stepmother, the redshirt freshman picked apart the Demon Deacon secondary on Saturday.

Durant's 361 passing yards, 24 completions and four touchdown passes each set new single-game school records for a freshman. His 75-yard TD pass to Sam Aiken also was the longest pass ever by a North Carolina freshman.

Ronald Curry held the previous freshman passing yards (304) and completions (19) records, which he set in 1998.

"(Durant) picked up on a lot of the defense even though he was gone from practice this week for the most part," Bosley Allen said. "But he picked up pretty well, probably did some extra study sessions with them and everything."

After beginning the season as the backup quarterback, Durant now finds himself among the conference passing leaders.

Durant has completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1596 yards and 16 touchdowns this season.

"I would have loved to have given him a game ball," said UNC coach John Bunting. "He certainly deserved one."

Durant did most of his damage in the first half Saturday, throwing for 264 yards and three scores before the break.

Despite the 32-31 loss, Saturday's game might have been just what Durant needed.

Said Durant, "I was just trying to put everything behind me and just go out there and play."

Reed Sets PAT Record

Few things are certain when it comes to North Carolina football these days - the disappearance of 24-point leads and upset wins against Florida State just to mention a few.

But UNC can count on Jeff Reed's leg when it has the ball in the end zone.

The senior place-kicker has connected on all 58 extra-point attempts in his career.

Reed broke Clint Gwaltney's school record of 56 straight PATs in the second quarter Saturday.

Reed nearly had a chance for a game-winning field goal in the final minute, but Durant's fumble ended UNC's threat.

"I would have had a shot with another five to 10 yards into Wake territory," Reed said. "I got a strong leg, and the coaches know it, and they and the team have confidence in me."

Reed has made 9 of 12 field goals this season.

Penalties Plague Tar Heels Late

Wake Forest took advantage of four North Carolina penalties, which cost UNC 39 yards in the fourth quarter.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

A 10-yard defensive holding penalty with 3:50 left helped setup the Deacons' game-winning touchdown.

"I think we lost it between the ears," Bunting said. "I think that's why we didn't stay in the ball game."

The Sports Editor can be reached at