Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Tar Heels wrap up Coastal, spoil Beamer's special day

BLACKSBURG, Va. — North Carolina defensive end Mikey Bart started celebrating too soon. Marquise Williams made sure his 12th-ranked Tar Heels were able to celebrate at all.

Williams hit Quinshad Davis with a 5-yard pass in overtime Saturday and the Tar Heels spoiled coach Frank Beamer's final home game at Virginia Tech with a 30-27 victory. And they did it after squandering a 14-point lead in the last three minutes of regulation.

"We were definitely shocked," Bart said after registering 21/2 of the Tar Heels' five sacks. "Around the two-minute mark, I was like, 'Oh yeah. We got the ACC.' We were already talking about rings and stuff."

The Hokies nearly foiled their plan with a touchdown with 2:54 to play and another with 1:07 left to pull even. The Tar Heels regrouped in the extra period, holding Virginia Tech to a 41-yard field goal.

Williams hit Ryan Switzer for 18 yards on the first play and Davis for the winning touchdown.

"Emotional. Bittersweet," Williams said after throwing for 205 yards, running for 74 and overcoming two lost fumbles in the final five minutes. "That was a hard game. Everybody panicking. Heart attacks going left and right. We just had to find a way."

The Tar Heels won their 10th in a row and clinched the Coastal Division title for the first time. They will face No. 1 Clemson in the league title game on Dec. 5 in Charlotte, N.C.

Beamer, who thanked fans and was carried off the field by his team after the game, wiped tears away before the final game at Lane Stadium in his 29-year career at the school. But he's not ready to travel too far down memory lane with at least one game, and possibly two, left.

"I don't think so much about the 'last' time," he said. "I think about the 29 years being so blessed."

Virginia Tech now needs to win at Virginia to give Beamer a 23rd consecutive bowl appearance.

No. 1 Clemson 33, Wake Forest 13: Deshaun Watson had another huge day for the host Tigers, throwing for three scores and rushing for one.

"As everyone as said around here … we feel like he's the best quarterback in the country," Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. "He can manage the system, he knows where to go with the ball. He's just a sophomore, but he doesn't make many mistakes."

Watson opened the scoring with a 3-yard run, then connected on TD passes of 44 yards to Charone Peake, 11 yards to Tampa Bay Tech graduate Deon Cain and 47 yards to Germone Hopper. Watson tops the ACC in total yardage and in touchdowns, upping his total to 26.

No. 5 Notre Dame 19, BC 16: DeShone Kizer threw for two touchdowns — and three interceptions — as the Fighting Irish survived five turnovers at Boston's Fenway Park.

Taking over the ballpark of the Red Sox for a far-flung home game, the Fighting Irish won their sixth straight. If not for three turnovers inside the Boston College 5-yard line, this one wouldn't have been close.

Kizer completed 20 of 38 for 320 yards. Chris Brown caught six passes for 104 yards and Amir Carlisle had seven catches for 97 yards.

Eagles quarterback Jeff Smith, a former Clearwater Central Catholic standout, broke free for an 80-yard run to make it 19-9 with 10:17 to play. His 3-yard TD pass to Charlie Callinan made it 19-16 with 54 seconds left.

Pittsburgh 45, Louisville 34: The host Panthers forced a quick three-and-out then drove the length of the field to reach eight wins in the regular season for the first time since 2009 under first-year coach Pat Narduzzi. Nathan Peterman tossed four touchdowns in the second quarter and the Panthers held on after nearly letting a 25-point advantage get away. Qadree Ollison ran for 152 yards and a score against the nation's 11th-ranked run defense.

N.C. State 42, Syracuse 29: Former Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett passed for 235 yards and two touchdowns for host North Carolina State as the Wolfpack improved to 8-1 all-time against the Orange. N.C. State rolled up 511 total yards, 276 on the ground. Syracuse suffered its eighth straight loss.

Virginia 42, Duke 34: Matt Johns passed for a career-high 344 yards and two touchdowns and the host Cavaliers held off a late rally. Virginia had lost three straight meetings and six of the previous seven.

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