This time of year, the North Carolina football team would normally be preparing for its spring game. But stadiums and arenas are quiet today due to COVID-19, and many people are looking for ways to fill their newfound free time.
Here are three of the most monumental UNC football wins in recent memory to rewatch and help get you through quarantine.
2004: UNC vs. Miami
In a night game thriller, No. 4 Miami came into Kenan Memorial Stadium with a team full of future NFL stars including Frank Gore, Devin Hester and Greg Olsen.
North Carolina had some firepower of its own, with quarterback Darian Durant and running back Chad Scott shining under the bright lights. Durant threw for over 250 yards and had two touchdowns, while Scott rushed for 175 yards on the ground and added two touchdowns of his own.
After Miami tied the game late, a perfectly executed two-minute drill from UNC gave kicker Connor Barth the chance to complete the upset. He knocked a 42-yard field goal through the uprights to give North Carolina a 31-28 win.
2012: UNC vs. N.C. State
Coming into the game with five straight losses to N.C. State, the Tar Heels were desperate for a victory. Larry Fedora was in his first year at North Carolina and the Tar Heels were looking to build on what had been a successful campaign.
UNC jumped out to an early lead, only to see it vanish by the fourth quarter. N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon had an impressive 467-yard, five-touchdown outing and had the Wolfpack up 35-25 at the end of the third quarter. However, North Carolina didn't quit and came back to tie it up.
Running back Giovani Bernard was the spark on offense all game. He had 135 rushing yards and two rushing scores to go along with 95 receiving yards. And it was Bernard who made one of the greatest plays in UNC football history, a punt return touchdown to give the Tar Heels the lead with 13 seconds remaining. The ensuing two-point conversion and a fumble recovery on the kickoff gave North Carolina a 43-35 victory.
2016: UNC at Florida State
The No. 12 Seminoles came into the game on a 22-game home winning streak, and star running back Dalvin Cook was looking like an early Heisman contender. UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky was on a tear of his own, having thrown for more than 400 yards in each of the prior two games.
North Carolina had a 21-7 lead going into halftime. In the third quarter, both teams managed a touchdown, putting the Tar Heels up 28-14.
Then, Cook took over. He led the Seminoles comeback with two fourth quarter touchdowns and ended up with over 100 yards both on the ground and through the air. A Deondre Francois running score gave Florida State a 35-34 lead with 23 seconds to play.
With one chance remaining for UNC, Trubisky completed a pass to Mack Hollins to put the Tar Heels near midfield. A pass interference call two plays later put them on the edge of kicker Nick Weiler’s field goal range.
With no time left, Weiler lined up to take a 54-yard field goal to win the game. He made the long kick and provided a lasting image in celebration; a sprinting “tomahawk chop” around the field at Doak Campbell Stadium.
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