During its first drive of the second quarter, UVA pushed its lead up another three points to make the score 10-3. However, UNC answered and tied the game two minutes later. Howell found Brown near the UVA bench with a defender on the wide receiver’s back. Brown caught the ball and ran it to the end zone, quickly tying the South’s oldest rivalry game at 10.
Brown continued to dominate as he pushed UNC into the lead with a little over two minutes left before half. He hauled in a 34-yard touchdown to give the Tar Heels a 17-10 lead.
The Cavaliers answered less than two minutes later with a six-yard touchdown pass. At halftime, the teams were tied 17-17.
Virginia came into the second half red-hot. Quarterback Bryce Perkins scored from 65 yards out, giving the Cavaliers a 24-17 lead within the first 35 seconds of the third quarter.
After UNC was unable to score, UVA’s Tanner Cowley doubled the lead with a touchdown. Howell struck back with a 50-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Green.
North Carolina remained unable to stop the Virginia offense, however. Grant Misch scored UVA’s fifth touchdown of the night, putting the score at 38-24.
Just under two minutes later, Brown continues to be a saving grace for UNC, scoring his third touchdown of the night. He battled a defender in the end zone before catching a 42-yard pass for a score.
North Carolina was unable to mount a final game-tying drive, however. With the game on the line, Howell's pass on fourth and 7 went through the hands of his receiver, and the Cavaliers kneeled to seal the contest.
Who stood out?
Brown already had a career-high night before UNC made it to halftime. In just three catches, he ran 117 yards and scored the first touchdown of the night. He then put the Tar Heels in the lead with a little over two minutes left before half.
At the break, the junior had four catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
Howell had a standout night on Saturday. His final touchdown of the day pushed him past Phillip Rivers for fourth-most touchdown passes by an ACC first-year quarterback. By the end of the night, the quarterback totaled over 350 yards.
When was it decided?
UNC’s fate was almost sealed in the third quarter when Virginia scored back-to-back touchdowns, pushing the gap to 31-17. UNC answered with a touchdown of its own, but UVA turned around and scored another touchdown, creating a 38-24 gap.
Clawing back to a seven-point deficit, Howell's incompletion with a minute left in the game ultimately sealed the UVA victory.
Why does it matter?
Before the game started, Pittsburgh beat Georgia Tech 20-10, boosting its ACC record to 3-2 and tying UVA and UNC to be first in the ACC Coastal Division. UNC is now tied with Miami at 3-3 in the ACC, while Virginia is in the driver's seat in the division.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels will travel play Pittsburgh on Thursday at 8 p.m.
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