CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –– In what was another thriller game between the two teams, the Tar Heels managed to pull away with a 40-34 double overtime win over the Mountaineers in Kenan Stadium last night.
“We’re going to have to sustain drives and keep the ball away from North Carolina,” App State head coach Shawn Clark said during a media availability earlier this week.
“Any time Drake Maye has the ball in his hands, they have a chance to score a touchdown.”
Clark stood on business, preventing the Tar Heels from scoring after a 11-play opening drive ended in zero points for the Tar Heels, much to the roaring delight of App State fans.
In what was a scoreless first quarter, the Mountaineers were the first to put points on the board after a 46-yard field goal by Michael Hughes, a score that was quickly overlooked after Omarion Hampton quickly responded with a 68-yard rush into the endzone. It was the longest of his career and one of three touchdowns he had for the game. He ended the game with a career-high 234 yards.
He forced his way into the zone with a 7-yard rush early in the fourth quarter to put the Tar Heels back up front after App State’s Nate Noel gave the Mountaineer’s the advantage 24-20.
App tied the score at 27 in the final minute with another field goal from Hughes and Noel got his second score of the game to take the Mountaineers to 34-27. But App didn’t score again after Hampton responded with a 17-yard rush for his third touchdown of the game and 5th in two games.
Heisman hopeful Drake Maye sealed the win with a 13-yard gain to extend North Carolina’s lead to 40-34.
Despite a sluggish first half from the offense, where Maye was limited to just 43 yards passing, he finished the game with 208 yards.
“We talk about finishing all the time,” head coach Mack Brown said after the win. “There were times we didn’t finish during the night, but we finished when it mattered at the end and that’s the first time we’ve won an overtime game since I’ve been here. I’m so proud of them. They picked themselves back up, the staff picked themselves back up and we went right back to work.”
Last night’s win snapped a six-game overtime losing streak for the Tar Heels with Maye saying, “Last year in overtime, State left a bad taste in our mouth. Overtime should be something we pride ourselves in.”
Next on the schedule, No.17 North Carolina will face Minnesota at home at 3:30p.m.