North Carolina Tops North Carolina State in Final Home Game, 23-9
Nov. 18, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Ronnie McGill rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown Saturday, and North Carolina forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter of its 23-9 win over North Carolina State, giving coach John Bunting a win in his final home game.
Brian Rackley returned a fumble 2 yards for the game-sealing touchdown with 2:33 remaining for the Tar Heels (2-9, 1-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who beat a Division I-A team for the first time this season.
Connor Barth kicked field goals covering 20, 37 and a personal-best 54 yards for North Carolina.
Daniel Evans was 22-of-41 for 261 yards for North Carolina State, but had three late giveaways. He first was intercepted by Quinton Person near midfield with 6:11 to play, and his second miscue was far more costly.
Trailing 16-9, N.C. State got the ball back inside its own 15 with about 3 minutes left and couldn't go anywhere. On fourth down, Evans scrambled and was hit at the 2 by linebacker Melik Brown, who knocked the ball loose, and Rackley snatched it up and scored the clinching touchdown.
Kareen Taylor finished off the Wolfpack by intercepting Evans' final pass at the 2 with about 1 minute remaining.
Joe Dailey was 8-of-15 for 137 yards for the Tar Heels, while McGill finished with his seventh career 100-yard performance and scored the game's only offensive touchdown on a 1-yard dive midway through the first quarter.
It was enough to help North Carolina snap a seven-game losing streak and earn a victory in its first game since Butch Davis was hired as Bunting's replacement. Bunting was fired Oct. 22 after a lopsided loss at Virginia, but is finishing the season.
The Wolfpack (3-8, 2-6) outgained North Carolina 341-260 but could manage only three field goals from John Deraney covering 22, 44 and 41 yards in losing its sixth straight game.
At one point late in the first quarter, North Carolina had 147 total yards to N.C. State's 8. By halftime that had evened out, with the Tar Heels outgaining the Wolfpack 186-174.