(Saturday, October 4th)
Final Score: North Carolina 38, (24) Connecticut 12
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - Shaun Draughn rushed for a career-high 109 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, as the North Carolina Tar Heels upended the 24th-ranked Connecticut Huskies, 38-12.
Cam Sexton, starting in place of the injured T.J. Yates and over an ineffective Mike Paulus, threw for 117 yards on 9-of-16 passing with one touchdown and one interception for UNC (4-1). Ryan Houston had three carries for 39 yards and scored once in the win. Hakeem Nicks caught three passes totaling 55 yards and also crossed the goal line.
Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher, gained 161 yards on 33 carries with one going for a TD for UConn (5-1). Zach Frazer, starting in place of Tyler Lorenzen who has a broken right foot, was 24-of-44 passing for 210 yards and was intercepted three times. D.J. Hernandez had seven grabs for 103 yards in defeat.
The schools traded field goals and it was a 3-3 game with just under three minutes left in the opening stanza.
On UConn's next drive, Frazer was intercepted by Mark Paschal who ran it back 23 yards to the Huskies' 15. Draughn ran for 14 yards over the next two plays and Houston trotted in a one-yard TD on the following snap, making it 10-3 with 25 ticks left in the first.
The Huskies were forced to punt on 4th-and-19 from their own five-yard line with just under six minutes left in the second frame. The Tar Heels rushed punter Desi Cullen, and Bruce Carter blocked his punt -- one of his three blocks on the day. Matt Merletti then pounced on the ball in the end zone to give UNC a 17-3 advantage.
"I'm able to get a good jump on the ball," Carter said. "With all the guys on the line going hard, you never know who's going to open up."
The Huskies were threatening on a 1st-and-goal from the nine-yard line with under a minute left in the first half. Frazer, though, was again picked off, this time by Trimane Goddard. The senior ran it back 33 yards to thwart the scoring opportunity and secure UNC's 17-3 lead heading into the intermission.
UConn opened the second half with a drive starting from its own 18. Frazer led his team all the way into UNC's red zone, highlighted by a 23-yard pass to Hernandez that had 15 yards tacked on to the end of the play after a late hit penalty on Zach Brown.
The drive stalled at the 14-yard line and Connecticut settled for a 31-yard field goal from Tony Ciaravino, which pulled the Huskies within 17-6 with 10:06 left in the third.
After a 37-minute delay due to failure with the stadium lights, UNC started at its own 43 with 7:10 to go in the third. It took the Tar Heels three plays to find pay dirt, the final being a 39-yard TD run by Draughn that made it 24-6 exactly 66 seconds later.
On UConn's ensuing possession, Marvin Austin picked off Frazer and took it 23 yards to the end zone to balloon UNC's lead to 31-6 with 4:09 left in the third.
Early in the fourth, Sexton hit Nicks on a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it a 32-point differential.
Brown ran in a one-yard score with 9:23 left in regulation, and coupled with the failed two-point conversion, UNC led 38-12.
"Disappointing loss, to say the least," said UConn head coach Randy Edsall. "I just give North Carolina credit. They're a very talented football team, a very athletic football team, but again, we didn't get the job done. It's pure and simple. We didn't play to our capabilities, and they had something to do with that."
It was UNC's first victory over a non-ACC ranked team since 1997, when the Tar Heels beat then-17th-ranked Stanford...The Huskies had never cracked the AP poll until last season, when they were ranked as high as No. 16 in early November...North Carolina beat UConn in the only previous meeting during the 1990 season...Lorenzen is expected to miss up to two months.
10/05 01:06:03 ET