CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Michael Carter rushed for a career-high 214 yards, Javonte Williams added another 169 on the ground, and No. 8 North Carolina rolled to a 56-45 ACC victory over No. 19 Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium.
The loss marked the first of the season for the Hokies, who fell to 2-1 overall, 2-1 in the ACC. North Carolina moved to 3-0 overall, 3-0 in league play.
North Carolina sprinted out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead thanks in part to two Williams touchdown runs and never looked back. Carter had two touchdown runs in the second half, including a 62-yarder that all but iced the game with 8:49 remaining.
The Tar Heels finished with 399 yards rushing on a day in which the Hokies played without both of their starting safeties (undisclosed reasons).
The Hokies were down 42-17 after Carter scored on a 16-yard run with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter, but Tech made a game of it, scoring touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. The Hokies cut the lead to 42-37 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hendon Hooker to receiver Tayvion Robinson with 15 seconds left in the third quarter. Tech went for two points to create a one-possession game, but Hooker’s pass to James Mitchell was broken up, leaving the Hokies down by just five.
But North Carolina answered on its ensuing possession. The Tar Heels marched 75 yards in just six plays and scored on quarterback Sam Howell’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Dazz Newsome. The extra point gave the Tar Heels a 49-37 lead with 12:37 remaining.
The Hokies punted on their next possession, and Carter then delivered the dagger. On the fourth play of the drive, he burst up the right sideline and scored to give the Tar Heels a 56-37 lead.
Tech finished with 495 yards of offense. Khalil Herbert again led the way, rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Hooker completed 7 of 13 for 136 yards and two touchdowns.