With momentum and a mistake from senior back Michael Carter, who called for a fair catch and then let the ball drop, that left UNC at the four-yard line, Boston College took advantage and forced an interception on the next play. Bailey continued to shine for the Eagle’s and gave Boston College its first touchdown of the game, cutting the lead to just one. UNC regained its footing when Williams showed off his speed for a 41-yard touchdown that allows the Tar Heels to wrap up the half with a 21-16 lead.
Heading into the second half, the multi-week break proved to take its toll. After a strong start to the opening drive, Howell held the ball too long despite the pocket crumbling and fumbled the ball while scrambling. The Tar Heels recovered, but that left UNC with 4th-and-31 after a 28 yard loss, forcing a punt. Boston College then committed a series of penalties late in the third, which gave UNC 45 free yards and a field goal, putting UNC up by eight to start the fourth.
The Tar Heels struggled to produce offense in the fourth. Senior star receiver Dazz Newsome was held to zero catches until the fourth quarter and the momentum generated by a 35-yard rush from Carter was quickly stalled. A missed 47-yard field goal attempt with just about five minutes left gave Boston College’s offense with time to cut the lead.
UNC’s troubles continued as an interception was overturned with a holding call and an aggressive comeback attempt from Jurkovec put Boston in a scoring position late in the quarter. Costly mistakes caused an Eagles’ touchdown to be called back twice, but the dynamic duo of Jurkovic and Long put pressure on the UNC defense in the final seconds. Soaring with confidence, the Eagle’s scored a touchdown with 45 seconds left, leaving them down by just two points, with time for a two-point conversion attempt.
In the last real play of the game, Morrison picked off the attempt and ran for 100-yards to put the game on his back with his own two-point conversion, sealing the UNC win.
Who stood out?
Linebacker Chazz Surratt and Morrison both shined defensively, but it was Morrison who put the game on his back and brought home the Tar Heels’ second victory. With the game on the line and the offense struggling to produce real offense since the first half, the defense showed up to stunt the Eagle’s offense late.
When was it decided?
Late in the second half, UNC’s secondary collapsed under an aggressive Boston College offense led by Jurkovic. With a lucky break, two Boston College touchdowns were called back due to penalty. But BC's prowess continued and led to a late touchdown to put the Eagles in position to tie. The game came down to the final seconds as Morrison prevented the two-point conversion attempt.
Why does it matter?
After a long break, UNC showed it can shake off the rust and continue to impress in the national rankings. The Tar Heels hadn't played for 20 days, following the cancellation of their game against UNC-Charlotte. While North Carolina still has plenty to solve, almost throwing away the game late and committing 10 penalties for 96 yards, the team still proved it could close tight games.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will go back to work in Chapel Hill against Virginia Tech on Saturday, Oct. 10 at noon.
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