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(Saturday, November 24)
Final Score: North Carolina 45, Maryland 38
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Bryn Renner matched a career-high with five touchdown passes as the North Carolina Tar Heels finished their season with a 45-38 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Kenan Stadium.
Renner threw for 205 yards and the five scores on 28-of-39 passing for the Tar Heels (8-4, 5-3 ACC), who are bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive season. Gio Bernard completed his spectacular season with a 163-yard performance on the ground. He also scored a touchdown and caught five passes for 32 yards. Quinshad Davis went over the century mark for the fourth consecutive game with 135 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Maryland (4-8, 2-6) quarterback Shawn Petty threw for a career-high 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Brandon Ross also went for a career- high, rushing for 141 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for 82 yards. L.A. Goree paced the defense with 14 tackles.
North Carolina took a quick 7-0 lead when Renner hit Eric Ebron across the middle for a 30-yard touchdown less than a minute into the contest. Bernard broke off a 42-yard run on the Tar Heels' third play from scrimmage to set up the scoring strike.
Following a Darien Rankin interception, Davis caught a fade from Renner in the back of the end zone, and UNC was in control up 14-0 less than three minutes into the game.
Maryland cut into the lead on it's next possession, which spanned 10 plays and 66 yards. Ross' one-yard touchdown plunge capped the drive. The Terrapins then tied it midway through the second quarter on Petty's first touchdown run of his career. The rush came one play after Ross broke a tackle and tip-toed down the left sideline for a 71-yard gain.
Renner responded with a touchdown pass to A.J. Blue with 3:18 remaining before halftime to give the Tar Heels a 21-14 lead.
Late in the half, Maryland tied the score once again. Petty led the Terrapin offense down the field and Diggs threw his first career touchdown pass to Matt Furstenburg on a trick play with 21 seconds remaining before halftime. UNC then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Maryland recovered. With no timeouts and 13 seconds on the clock, Maryland had one shot for the end zone and made the most of it. Kevin Dorsey caught a dart from Petty and made two defenders miss before launching himself into the end zone. Maryland led 28-21 at halftime after the unusual series of events.
The second half picked up right where the first left off as Diggs returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a score.
Maryland's two-score lead did not last long. On the third play of the Tar Heels' next possession, Renner broke his own UNC record with his 27th passing touchdown of the season. Davis once again was the recipient, this time reeling in a 50-yard touchdown catch.
After a Maryland punt, Renner threw a lob to Erik Highsmith for his fifth touchdown pass of the afternoon. Tar Heel kicker Thomas Moore added a field goal and a Bernard touchdown run gave UNC a 45-35 after 45 minutes. Maryland gained just five total yards in the quarter and punted on all four of it's possessions.
The Terrapins' defense finally stepped up in the fourth quarter, forcing a UNC three-and-out which led to a late field goal by Brad Craddock. However, they were unable to stop Bernard from picking up multiple first downs, and the Tar Heels were able to run out the clock.
11/24 21:02:50 ET
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