No. 5 Texas A&M pulls away from No. 13 UNC to win Orange Bowl
Freshman running back Devon Achane ran 76 yards for a tiebreaking touchdown with 3:44 remaining, and No. 5 Texas A&M overcame No. 13 North Carolina to win the Orange Bowl, 41-27, on Saturday night in Miami.
The Aggies, who were denied a spot in the College Football Playoff, scored the game’s final 21 points in the last 10 1/2 minutes. Their 24 fourth-quarter points were the most in the Orange Bowl for a team since Oklahoma in 1958.
Isaiah Spiller scored two rushing touchdown for Texas A&M (9-1), but he departed with an injury, and that allowed Achane to move into the spotlight.
Quarterback Kellen Mond completed 16 of 26 passes for 232 yards.
After the go-ahead touchdown, the Aggies stopped North Carolina’s fourth-and-2 play just 80 seconds later. Achane converted for a 1-yard scoring run, moving his rushing totals to 140 yards on 12 carries.
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell threw two second-half touchdown passes to Josh Downs. Howell finished 18-for-31 for 234 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
Howell threw 10 yards to Downs for a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, completing a 66-yard drive. After Mond’s 4-yard touchdown run at the 10:11 mark, the Aggies clamped down defensively to prevent North Carolina from reaching a first down on its next three possessions.
Texas A&M led 17-13 at halftime after Spiller ran 3 yards for a touchdown with 20 seconds to play in the half. That capped a 75-yard march that consumed more than 4 1/2 minutes for the team’s longest time for a possession in the half.
Texas A&M posted the game’s first points on Spiller’s 9-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play. That followed Andre White’s interception of Howell that set the Aggies up at the North Carolina 28-yard line.
The Tar Heels (8-4) received field goals of 29 and 32 yards from Grayson Atkins before Seth Small’s 25-yarder for the Aggies.
North Carolina went ahead for the first time on Dazz Newsome’s 28-yard reception from Howell with 4:56 left in the first half.
North Carolina running backs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams, receiver Dyami Brown and linebacker Chazz Surratt all opted out of playing in the bowl.
–Field Level Media