The No. 17 North Carolina football team (9-3, 6-2 ACC) fell to N.C. State (8-4, 3-4 ACC), 30-27, in double overtime of the final game of its regular season on Friday evening at Kenan Stadium.
The Wolfpack wasted no time in scoring when quarterback Ben Finley connected with wideout Devin Carter for 52 yards before running back Jack Chambers run into the end zone for a two-yard score to give N.C. State the early lead.
Redshirt first-year quarterback Drake Maye and sophomore running back Elijah Green led the Tar Heels down the field, but were forced to settle for a field goal. Finley willed his offense into North Carolina territory and lofted a pass deep into the right corner of the end zone to wide receiver Terrell Timmons for a 28-yard touchdown.
Midway through the second quarter, Green found the end zone to trim the lead to 14-10. The Tar Heels quickly reclaimed possession when UNC senior defensive back Don Chapman forced a Chambers fumble, which was recovered by junior linebacker Cedric Gray. However, UNC couldn’t capitalize and was forced to punt.
With halftime rapidly approaching, the Wolfpack managed to move the ball quickly into the red zone thanks to an 18-yard pass from quarterback Ben Finley to tight end Cedd Seabrough. N.C. State kicker Christopher Dunn then drilled the 29-yard field goal, giving the Wolfpack a 17-10 lead at halftime.
Neither team’s offense could seem to find a rhythm for most of the third quarter, until Finley made three completions to put the Wolfpack within field goal range. However, Dunn missed the 43-yard field goal — his first miss of the season.
Just when it seemed like the Tar Heels could find a way to score, the Wolfpack’s pressure rattled Maye and North Carolina settled for a field goal. Sophomore kicker Noah Burnette missed the 27-yard attempt with just over 10 minutes to play, and the score remained 17-10.
After a Wolfpack three-and-out, Maye found sophomore wide receiver J.J. Jones for 18 yards, and two plays later, Maye saw an opening and darted into the end zone for a 14-yard rushing touchdown, tying the game up 17-17.