The North Carolina Tar Heels held on for a win while the NC State Wolfpack and Duke Blue Devils both lost on Saturday afternoon.
The Tar Heels (2-0) gave their fans more reason to believe in the leadership of interim head coach Everett Withers as his team held on for 24-22 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1) at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.
Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner went 20 of 26 for 273 yards, threw for a touchdown but also threw three interceptions.
With a 17-12 lead at half-time, the Scarlet Knights did not give up and narrowed the score to 24-22 with just over 10 minutes left to play in the game.
Ball possession for the remainder of final quarter was the key to the Tar Heels holding off Rutgers and containing them on their side of the field to earn a hard-fought victory in front of the Tar Heel faithful.
“We stopped them. They tried to run a power and we stopped them. They tried to throw the ball and we made plays on the ball, blitzed the quarterback to get the ball out of his hands and get the ball back. This game ain’t real hard.”- Everett Withers, Head Coach, North Carolina Tar Heels
Wolfpack can’t Wake up
Losing its fifth straight game in Winston-Salem, the NC State Wolfpack’s (1-1) comeback attempt in a 34-27 loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-1) did not sit well with head coach Tom O’Brien.
“I’m not into all this ‘we fought back’ and all that. We lost the game. A game that we didn’t play well in. I have to get it straightened out and I intend to get it straightened out.” – Tom O’Brien, Head Coach, NC State Wolfpack
Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 315 yards on 24-of-41 passing with three touchdowns and one interception in the losing effort.
Glennon connected on long touchdown passes to receivers Tobais Palmer (65 yards) and T.J. Graham (63 yards) late in the third and early in the fourth quarters that put the Pack in a position to even the score, trailing 34-27 with just over five minutes remaining.
However, Glennon couldn’t convert third and fourth-down pass attempts to keep the Wolfpack’s final drive alive giving the Demon Deacons the ball back with ample time to wind down the final minute and a half on the game clock to secure the victory.
Duke has no Luck
In hosting the #6 Stanford Cardinal at Wallace Wade Stadium, the Duke Blue Devils (0-2) lost another game to a marquee opponent in September, but the 44-14 loss was not absent of hard work and effort early on from coach David Cutcliffe’s team against an opponent that was led by one of college football’s best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck.
“We knew that one of the things that when a team reaches the level they have, their intensity level is high and we have to match their intensity level for 60 minutes. I thought we did that in the first 30. We didn’t get tired; it wasn’t that. It’s one of the most difficult things in sports, to regain momentum and we couldn’t do that. We didn’t make those plays to get that done.” – David Cutcliffe, Head Coach, Duke Blue Devils
While Luck and the Cardinal offense swarmed through the Blue Devils defense as he threw for four touchdowns and completed 20-of-29 passes for 290 yards, Duke’s Sean Renfree completed a respectable 19-of-27 passes for 179 yards and had his team trailing only 17-7 at the half.
Luck stepped up the pace in Stanford’s offensive march to victory during the second half with 114 yards in passing and rushing for 137 to outscore the Blue Devils 27-7.
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