Cavaliers upend No. 15 North Carolina, 44-41
Brennan Armstrong threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth Saturday night as Virginia upset No. 15 North Carolina 44-41 in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Armstrong completed 12 of 22 passes for 208 yards and an interception while adding 66 yards on 20 carries before leaving late in the game with a leg injury. The Cavaliers (2-4, 2-4 ACC) snapped a four-game losing streak despite being outgained 536-418.
They outrushed the Tar Heels 210-93.
Virginia’s running game was most useful as it protected its dwindling lead in the fourth quarter. It ate up 9:02 on a 15-play, 58-yard drive — 14 plays were rushes — that set up a 35-yard field goal with 4:07 left by Brian Delaney that made it 44-34.
The Tar Heels (4-2, 4-2) fought back, slicing the deficit to three when Javonte Williams plowed 3 yards for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining. But the Cavaliers iced the game when Keytaon Thompson picked up 5 yards on a fake punt on fourth-and-4 from their 41 with 1:55 left.
Quarterback Sam Howell carved up Virginia’s defense for 443 yards on 23 of 28 passing for North Carolina, throwing for four touchdowns. But Howell also absorbed five sacks and lost a fumble that led to Armstrong’s 17-yard scoring strike to Tony Poljan that gave Virginia a 41-20 advantage with 5:34 left in the third quarter.
The Tar Heels led 20-13 after Howell hit Khafre Brown on a 76-yard touchdown. However, the Cavaliers rattled off 28 unanswered points, taking advantage of critical North Carolina mistakes.
Armstrong found Ra’Shaun Henry for an 18-yard score midway through the second quarter to tie the game. Thompson then put Virginia ahead for good with a 1-yard run off right tackle with just over a minute left before halftime.
Wayne Taulapapa capped a 75-yard drive to start the second half with a 2-yard touchdown run, upping the lead to two touchdowns.
Carolina receiver Dyami Brown caught 11 passes for 240 yards and three scores.
–Field Level Media