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Nov. 13, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Tyrod Taylor hit Marcus Davis with a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to help No. 16 Virginia Tech beat North Carolina 26-10 on Saturday.
Taylor threw for 249 yards while the defense locked down the Tar Heels after halftime, helping the Hokies (8-2, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) improve to 4-0 in Chapel Hill since joining the league in 2004.
Virginia Tech entered Saturday with a chance to wrap up the ACC's Coastal Division title for the fourth time in six seasons, but Miami's easy win at Georgia Tech earlier in the day delayed the Hokies' coronation. Virginia Tech travels to Miami next weekend and needs to win one of its final two games to wrap up a berth in the league championship game in Charlotte on Dec. 4.
As for the Tar Heels (6-4, 3-3), their slim chances of winning the division evaporated in a mash of miscues and missed chances.
Virginia Tech trailed 10-9 at halftime after kicking three field goals, two when drives stalled after reaching the UNC 15 and 8. But Taylor found Davis for a 43-yard gain on the opening drive of the second half, then connected with him again for the go-ahead 11-yard score with 10:38 left in the period.
Taylor threw another touchdown to Davis later in the period, with Davis slipping behind defenders Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney for a 13-yard score that made it 26-10.
The touchdown capped a dominant third quarter for the Hokies, who outgained the Tar Heels 141-19 while watching their hosts do everything they could to help Virginia Tech inch closer to another division crown.
North Carolina committed a season-high six turnovers, with T.J. Yates throwing four interceptions a week after setting a school record with 439 yards passing in the program's first win at Florida State. One of those picks came when receiver Erik Highsmith and safety Eddie Whitley both came down with the ball in the end zone midway through the second quarter.
That came just a few plays after Yates overthrew a wide-open Dwight Jones deep over the middle for what could've been an easy touchdown.
The sequence seemed to summarize much of the day for North Carolina. The Tar Heels opened the game with an impressive 80-yard drive capped by Anthony Elzy leaping over the defensive line and into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown, but they never made it back there again.
Along the way, the Tar Heels had to settle for a field goal after driving all the way to the 2 in the second quarter, then Elzy fumbled when he took a big hit near the goal line as the Tar Heels tried to make it a one-possession game midway through the fourth quarter.
Da'Norris Searcy also muffed a punt return when he slipped to the turf while trying to catch the bouncing ball, which grazed off his fingertips and was recovered by Alonzo Tweedy at the Tar Heels 29. Taylor found Davis for his second touchdown five plays later to blow the game open.