Scores

Final

North Carolina 28

(3-1, 1-1 ACC)

Miami (FL) 24

(2-2, 0-1 ACC)

Coverage: ESPN2

12:00 PM ET, September 27, 2008

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
UNC 0 7 7 1428
MIA 14 3 0 724

Top Performers

Passing: C. Sexton (UNC) - 242 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: G. Cooper (MIA) - 19 CAR, 110 YDS

Receiving: H. Nicks (UNC) - 5 REC, 133 YDS, 1 TD

North Carolina rallies from 14-point deficit to shock Miami

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Cameron Sexton threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Foster with 46 seconds left, Trimane Goddard had two interceptions in the final minutes, and North Carolina rallied from an early 14-point deficit to beat Miami 28-24 on Saturday.

Rallying The Troops

After struggling in the first three quarters in place of injured starter T.J. Yates, UNC backup QB Cameron Sexton came up big to rally the Tar Heels in the fourth quarter against Miami.

Cameron Sexton
Saturday at Miami
1st 3 Qtrs 4th Qtr
Comp-Att 5-9 6-10
Pass yds 94 148
TD-Int 0-0 2-0

Sexton -- playing because North Carolina starter T.J. Yates will miss six weeks with a broken left ankle -- relieved starter Mike Paulus early and completed 11 of 19 passes for 242 yards, including two fourth-quarter scores.

He found Hakeem Nicks with a 74-yard pass with 9 minutes remaining, then coolly found Foster in the right corner of the end zone in the final minute to give North Carolina (3-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) its first lead of the day.

Miami had one more chance, getting the ball at its own 31. Robert Marve found Kayne Farquharson for a 29-yard gain that took the Hurricanes to the North Carolina 20 with 15 seconds remaining.

Marve nearly hooked up with Farquharson again on the final play of the game, but Goddard's second pick of the quarter sealed the Tar Heels' win. Farquharson had his hands on the ball in the end zone, yet Goddard was the one who wound up with possession.

Marve threw three touchdown passes for Miami (2-2, 0-1), and Graig Cooper rushed for 110 yards plus had a receiving TD for the Hurricanes, who lost to the Tar Heels for the second straight season.

A year ago, Miami almost pulled off a stunning comeback against North Carolina, nearly rallying from a 27-0 halftime deficit.

This time, the Tar Heels showed the Hurricanes how to pull one of those off.

Down 24-14 midway through the fourth quarter after Marve connected with Aldarius Johnson on a 4-yard touchdown pass, the Tar Heels went to work. Nicks caught the ball ahead of a diving Bruce Johnson for the first North Carolina touchdown of the final quarter, seeming to stun the Hurricanes a bit, and then Sexton delivered the perfect touch pass at the end.

It was a stirring turnaround, especially considering how the game started.

The Hurricanes needed only eight plays to go 89 yards -- with Cooper rushing three times for 60 of them -- on the opening drive, capped by Marve finding Farquharson with a 9-yard touchdown pass.

A special-teams blunder by the Tar Heels later in the opening quarter gave Miami a two-touchdown edge.

North Carolina punter Terrence Brown dropped a snap, fell on the ball at the Tar Heels 11, and the Hurricanes quickly capitalized. Marve lofted the ball to Cooper on a middle screen that resulted in an 11-yard TD for a 14-0 lead.

Miami made it look easy in the first 15 minutes, outgaining North Carolina 127-24, limiting the Tar Heels to minus-4 yards rushing and less than two yards per play.

Suddenly, everything that went right in the first quarter suddenly stopped for Miami.

Greg Little's 8-yard run early in the second quarter helped draw North Carolina within 17-7 at halftime, and Ryan Houston scored from 2 yards out midway through the third to draw the Tar Heels within 17-14.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UNC
MIA
1st Downs1618
Total Yards299309
Passing264174
Rushing35135
Penalties6-556-54
3rd Down Conversions6-138-16
4th Down Conversions1-20-0
Turnovers02
Possession26:2333:37

Passing Leaders

North CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Sexton11/1924212.720
Miami (FL)C/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Marve18/271355.032

Rushing Leaders

North CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Little14382.718
Houston5183.616
Miami (FL)CARYDSAVGTDLG
Cooper191105.8031
Benjamin2115.507

Receiving Leaders

North CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Nicks513326.6174
Tate36220.7037
Miami (FL)RECYDSAVGTDLG
Farquharson35117.0129
Cooper3299.7111

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUNCMIA
TD11:02Kayne Farquharson 9 Yd Pass From Robert Marve (Matt Bosher Kick) 07
TD00:39Graig Cooper 11 Yd Pass From Robert Marve (Matt Bosher Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERUNCMIA
TD12:49Greg Little 6 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 714
FG05:07Matt Bosher 34 Yd 717
THIRD QUARTERUNCMIA
TD09:38Ryan Houston 2 Yd Run (Jay Wooten Kick) 1417
FOURTH QUARTERUNCMIA
TD09:59Aldarius Johnson 4 Yd Pass From Robert Marve (Matt Bosher Kick) 1424
TD09:00Hakeem Nicks 74 Yd Pass From Cameron Sexton (Jay Wooten Kick) 2124
TD00:46Brooks Foster 14 Yd Pass From Cameron Sexton (Jay Wooten Kick) 2824