The North Carolina Tar Heels had to go to hell and back in the fourth quarter, but it all proved to be worth it as the team managed to score the game-winning touchdown in overtime to beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg 30-27 and spoil longtime Hokies coach Frank Beamer’s final game at Lane Stadium.
This game was tight and chippy from the get go, as UNC opened the scoring in the first quarter when quarterback Marquise Williams kept the ball and ran it in for an 18-yard touchdown.
Virginia Tech answered with a field goal in the second quarter and the score remained 7-3 at halftime. But these two teams wanted a win too badly for the score to just stay that way. UNC added a field goal in the third quarter, but Virginia Tech tied it up when quarterback Michael Brewer capped an 81-yard drive with a three-yard keeper to make the score 10-10.
Then came the fourth quarter, and that’s when the game truly began. UNC added two touchdowns on two touchdown runs from Elijah Hood of 13 and seven yards, respectively, making the score 24-10.
But just when it looked like the Hokies were out, they proved they were still in it. UNC fumbled and set Virginia Tech up at their own 37, and the ensuing drive went on to last 63 yards in a mere 90 seconds while capped by an eight-yard pass from Brewer to Bucky Hodges: 24-17 UNC.
UNC took over with 2:54 remaining, but fumbled again! Virginia Tech was then set up on the Tar Heels’ 48-yard line and engineered yet another drive. Once Brewer found Isaiah Ford for a four-yard touchdown, the fans roared. We were headed for overtime!
The Hokies then opened overtime with a field goal to go up 27-24, but this is when UNC proved to be too fast and strong for Beamer’s boys. Williams quickly found Ryan Switzer for an 18-yard gain and just a few plays later, Quinshad Davis reeled in the game-winning five-yard score that was upheld on review.
UNC will now officially face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game after knocking off Virginia Tech in its tightest game of the season. Looking at team stats from the game, almost everything was neck-in-neck.
Virginia Tech will play its final game under Beamer next weekend when it visits Charlottesville to play Virginia, while UNC will visit N.C. State in Raleigh.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports