Friday, November 16, 2012

Tar Heels Win Benedict Ronald Bowl

DAVIS (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
From 1983 to 2008, the Virginia Cavaliers dominated the Oldest Rivalry In The South defeating the University of North Carolina every time the game was played in Charlottesville.  The Heels broke that streak in 2010, and made it three wins in a row against their "oldest" rival last night when a fourth quarter surge led to a 37-13 victory in the Cavs’ home stadium.

Bryn Renner threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after a goal-line stand preserved North Carolina's lead and the Tar Heels ended Virginia's postseason hopes.

The Tar Heels (7-4, 4-3 ACC) defense showed up after an extended vacation.  UNC was hanging onto a 20-13 lead when they stopped Kevin Parks for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the one yard line. They then drove 97 yards in 12 plays with Renner capping the march with a 23-yard pass to a wide open Giovani Bernard over the middle for the TD.

A five-yard completion to Erik Highsmith on fourth-and-two came on the play just before the touchdown pass, and after Virginia (4-7, 2-5) was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, Renner's 20-yard TD pass to Highsmith finished it.

The Cavaliers had won two in a row and were hoping to win two more to qualify for a bowl game. They shut down Bernard, the ACC's runaway rushing leader, but were picked apart by Renner's precise passing.

He finished 29 for 36 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target on the night was freshman Quinshad Davis, who caught 15 passes, one shy of the school record, for 174 yards.

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