(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: (19) North Carolina 12, Connecticut 10
East Hartford, CT (Sports Network) - Dan Ryan was called for holding in the end zone on a third-down play late in the fourth quarter, resulting in a safety that completed 19th-ranked North Carolina's rally in a 12-10 victory over Connecticut.
Cody Endres completed a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-22, throwing the pass from the end zone. A flag was thrown on Ryan for holding a rusher, resulting in a safety for a 12-10 North Carolina lead.
"Nobody wants to be the guy sitting in this chair right now having to answer these questions," Ryan said. "I would rather be in the locker room celebrating with my team; unfortunately, it did not work out that way today."
Endres didn't start the game at quarterback, but Zach Fraser left the game with a knee injury after finishing 11-of-19 for 94 yards and an interception.
After the safety, Connecticut (1-1) kicked and recovered an onsides kick, giving it one last chance for victory. It moved the football to midfield, but three straight incompletions and a sack ended the game.
"I don't know if I've ever been in a game that ever ended in that way," Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall said. "Our guys competed, played hard, fought to the very end and came up a little bit short. North Carolina is a very good football team, which we knew coming into the game but it's just heart-wrenching, gut wrenching to be on this side of."
Tyler Yates threw for 233 yards on 23-of-32 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Tar Heels (2-0). The touchdown was a game-tying two-yard toss to Zach Pianalto, who caught seven passes for 87 yards on the game. The 13-yard, 76-yard march included a 19-yard strike to Pianalto and a 21-yard toss to Erik Highsmith.
"There is no way you can talk about this game without saying how fortunate we were," North Carolina head coach Butch Davis said. "To make some of that fortune happen a lot of things had to happen, our kids [had] to keep competing and playing hard. They spilled their guts out there every single snap."
Earlier in the fourth stanza, Casey Barth kicked a 22-yard field goal that got North Carolina on the scoreboard. Until that point, the Huskies defense shut down a proficient offensive attack.
The game was scoreless until the closing seconds of the first half when UConn finished off a methodical 11-play, 40-yard march with a 47-yard boot off the foot of Dave Teggart.
The Huskies then moved in front 10-0 in the closing moments of the third period. The four-play, 26-yard drive came after one of Yates' two interceptions. Jordan Todman, who ran for 66 yards on the game, scored from four yards away with 55 ticks left.
North Carolina racked up 268 total yards to 196 for the Huskies...Highsmith caught four passes for 59 yards...UNC has won all three meetings between the two schools...Attendance 38,087.
09/12 21:03:07 ET