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#8 UNC runs past #19 Virginia Tech 56-45

UNC finished with its highest scoring output ever against the Hokies along with 656 total yards.
Credit: AP
North Carolina wide receiver Dazz Newsome (5) finds some running room against Virginia Tech defensive back Jermaine Waller during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Michael Carter ran for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 62-yarder midway through the fourth quarter -- to help eighth-ranked North Carolina beat No. 19 Virginia Tech 56-45 on Saturday.

The Tar Heels (3-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) leaned on a dominating running game. Javonte Williams also ran for a career-best 169 yards and two scores of his own, with both backs finding gaping lanes and weaving through defenders to keep the chains moving on the way to 399 yards on the ground.

UNC said it was only the second time in program history that the Tar Heels had seen two players crack the 150-yard mark in the same game, the other coming 39 years earlier.

Throw in Sam Howell’s three touchdown passes, and UNC finished with its highest scoring output ever against the Hokies along with 656 total yards — the No. 2 total ever posted against Virginia Tech’s defense, which was severely depleted in the secondary.

Carter’s huge run around the right side with 8:49 left finally gave the Tar Heels some cushion after they had seen the Hokies rally from a 42-17 deficit early in the third quarter to make it a one-possession game entering the fourth quarter.

Khalil Herbert ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Virginia Tech (2-1, 2-1), which again played shorthanded due to a combination of coronavirus and injury issues. Hendon Hooker, a returning starting quarterback who had yet to play this year, threw for two scores and ran for another.

This was UNC’s first home game since Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state would ease public -gathering restrictions related to the pandemic by allowing schools to fill 7% of their stadium capacity for fans. That cleared the way for 3,535 fans scattered about the 50,500-seat Kenan Stadium.