12:30 PM ET, October 6, 2012
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Tapley returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and added a 19-yard scoring catch from Bryn Renner for the Tar Heels (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They won their third straight, rolled up 533 total yards and claimed their first home victory over the Hokies (3-3, 1-1) since 1938.
Blue had touchdown runs of 1 and 13 yards, and Renner finished 17 of 30 for 194 yards with a touchdown pass and a 4-yard scoring run.
Logan Thomas was 26 of 49 for 354 yards with a 13-yard touchdown run and two long touchdown passes. Demitri Knowles took a kickoff 93 yards for a TD for the Hokies, who are off to their worst start since opening 2-3-1 in 1992.
Bernard surpassed his previous best of 165 yards set last year against Duke, and nobody has rushed for more yards against a Frank Beamer-coached Virginia Tech team. Bernard also became the Tar Heels' first 200-yard rusher since Ronnie McGill rolled up 244 against Wake Forest in 2003.
Bernard had two rushes of at least 50 yards -- including his 62-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 on the first play of the second quarter that put the Tar Heels ahead to stay.
North Carolina began to pull away midway through the third quarter, going ahead 35-20 on the Renner-to-Tapley touchdown pass before Knowles took the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech went for two, trying to make it a one-score game, but Thomas' pass over the middle didn't have a chance, and the Tar Heels scored the next two times they touched the ball.
Casey Barth kicked field goals of 44 and 40 yards for North Carolina. Its 48 points were the most scored in the series by either team, and the Tar Heels gained at least 500 total yards for the third time under new coach Larry Fedora.
The Tar Heels entered outscoring their previous three opponents at Kenan Stadium by a combined 155-6 and hadn't allowed a touchdown at home all season. Thomas didn't need much time to end that streak, bursting through on a 13-yard keeper to make it 7-0 barely 2 minutes in.
Tapley then tied it -- and started the Tar Heels' scoring binge -- by taking the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown. That was the first kick return for a score against Tech since 1993, the longest streak in the country.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-16||5-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||1-1|
|TD||12:55||Logan Thomas 13 Yd Run (Cody Journell Kick)||7||0|
|TD||12:41||Sean Tapley 94 Yd Kickoff Return (Casey Barth Kick)||7||7|
|TD||04:41||Bryn Renner 4 Yd Run (Casey Barth Kick)||7||14|
|TD||02:15||Marcus Davis 49 Yd Pass From Logan Thomas (Cody Journell Kick)||14||14|
|TD||14:53||Giovani Bernard 62 Yd Run (Casey Barth Kick)||14||21|
|FG||07:41||Cody Journell 40 Yd||17||21|
|TD||04:09||A.J. Blue 1 Yd Run (Casey Barth Kick)||17||28|
|FG||00:41||Cody Journell 35 Yd||20||28|
|TD||07:49||Sean Tapley 19 Yd Pass From Bryn Renner (Casey Barth Kick)||20||35|
|TD||07:36||Demitri Knowles 93 Yd Kickoff Return (Two-Point Conversion Failed)||26||35|
|FG||03:56||Casey Barth 44 Yd||26||38|
|TD||01:19||A.J. Blue 13 Yd Run (Casey Barth Kick)||26||45|
|TD||08:55||Corey Fuller 66 Yd Pass From Logan Thomas (Logan Thomas Pass To Corey Fuller For Two-Point Conversion)||34||45|
|FG||05:34||Casey Barth 40 Yd||34||48|
North Carolina RB Gio Bernard's 262 rush yards is the second-highest total in FBS this season. His 11.4 yards per rush is a school record for highest in a game. His total is the 5th-highest in school history and the most by a Tar Heel since 1988. Most Rush Yards in Game, North Carolina History Yds Opponent 1986 Derrick Fenner 328 Virginia 1988 Kennard Martin 291 Duke 1977 Amos Lawrence 286 Virginia 1970 Don McCauley 279 Duke 2012 Gio Bernard 262 Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech allowed 48 points in a loss at North Carolina Saturday. The 48 points allowed by the Hokies are the most they've allowed in a conference game since joining the ACC. It is also tied for most in a regular season game in the last 10 seasons (allowed 48 in a loss at LSU in 2007).
Sean Tapley's kickoff return for a touchdown was rare for a Virginia Tech opponent. The Hokies had not allowed a kickoff return touchdown in 237 games (last was by Syracuse in 1993), which was the longest active streak in the nation.
ESPN Stats & Information