CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- T.J. Yates threw for three touchdowns and North Carolina won for the first time since 1981 at Scott Stadium, beating Virginia 44-10 Saturday night.
The Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had lost 14 consecutive games on the Cavaliers' home field but dominated throughout this one. Yates hit Dwight Jones with a short slant on the first play and Jones went 81 yards for a touchdown after breaking one tackle.
Jones had a huge day, catching six passes for 188 yards and two scores in the first half. He missed a third TD when he stepped out at the half-yard line on a 54-yard reception and finished with seven catches for 198 yards. He arrived with 12 for just 104 yards this year.
Marc Verica struggled mightily for Virginia (2-4, 0-3), throwing three interceptions. Kevin Reddick returned the third one 22 yards for a touchdown and Verica was pulled.
The Tar Heels' victory was their fourth straight; Virginia lost its third in a row.
Virginia also failed to score in four tries after getting a first down at the 5 on its next series, but already trailed 37-10 when Payne was tackled on the fourth-down play.
The victory came as North Carolina continued to get players back from a roster-depleting NCAA investigation into agent-related benefits and possible academic misconduct. It had defensive end Linwan Euwell and tailback Ryan Houston available for the first time, but only Euwell played. The investigation has left five other Tar Heels ruled out for this season.
They hardly looked shorthanded against the team first-year coach Mike London is rebuilding. The Cavaliers had pledged to get back to basics on tackling after allowing 733 rushing yards in the past two games, but the first play showed there's still work to do.
Yates also seemed to find wide-open receivers whenever he needed one.
After Virginia pulled within four points at 7-3, Yates hit Zack Pianalto for 46 yards on the next series, leading to the first of Casey Barth's three field goals. Lineman Tim Jackson's interception of Verica set up a 49-yard drive capped by Jones' sliding catch of a 20-yard scoring pass.
Jones later caught another long pass on the first play of a series that started at the Tar Heels' 45, but was ruled to have stepped out half a yard before the end zone.
Yates hit Pianalto on the next play for the TD. He finished 17 of 22 for 325 yards.
Keith Payne carried 23 times for 107 yards and Virginia's lone touchdown.
Linebacker Myles Jack, who suffered a season-ending knee injury, said Thursday he decided to leave UCLA and enter the 2016 NFL draft because he wants to be compensated for his skills.
The tougher tests await down the road for No. 3 Baylor Bears, but coach Art Briles has seen enough of his Bears to know this is his best team.
A decision has been made that Randy Edsall will not be the football coach at Maryland next season, and discussions are taking place about how and when to separate, a source said Thursday night.
Florida State running back Mario Pender has been released from the hospital but could be given a medical redshirt if he cannot return to the field this season.
Tennessee chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek has issued a statement amid rumors that alleges coach Butch Jones fought and punched senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during a fall practice session.
With the addition of a few tweaks, UConn football coach Bob Diaco is still planning to bring a rivalry trophy with him to Florida on Saturday when the Huskies play UCF.