banner
North Carolina

Blog: Tar Heels win 34-27 vs. Pitt

Posted November 16, 2013

UNC linebacker Travis Hughes (9) reacts after a big stop in the first half of play at Kenan Stadium between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Boston College Eagles on October 26, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC.

Marquise Williams' two rushing touchdowns and Ryan Switzer's two punt returns led the Heels to a 34-27 win over Pittsburgh.

4:46 fourth quarter; UNC 34, Pitt 27: Ryan Switzer grabs his second punt return on the day, 61 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. UNC leads 34-27 with 4:46 to go in the game.

8:52 fourth quarter; Pitt 27, UNC 27: A TJ Logan fumble on the kick return gave the Panthers the ball on the UNC 13. Pitt scores on a 2-yard James Conner rush to make it 27-27. 

9:49 fourth quarter; UNC 27, Pitt 20: Pitt's Chris Blewitt hits a 42 yard field goal to make it 27-20 UNC in the fourth.

13:28 fourth quarter; UNC 27, Pitt 17: Tom Savage connects with Bennet for a touchdown, momentum is on Pitts side. They close the gap to 10 points.

8:13 third quarter; UNC 27, Pitt 10: Tom Savage connects with Devin Street for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Pitt closes the gap, 27-10.

11:27 third quarter; UNC 27, Pitt 3: Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage is sacked by Kareem Martin and Darius Lipford for a loss of 18 yards. They force a fumbled that's recovered by Kareem Martin at the Pitt 12. A few plays later Thomas Moore hits a 27 yard field goal for the 27-3 lead.

1:03 second quarter; UNC 24, Pitt 3: UNC's Ryan Switzer returns the punt 65 yards for a touchdown, Heels go up 24-3 with a minute to go in the second quarter. That is Switzer's second straight game with a punt return.

5:14 second quarter; UNC 17, Pitt 3: Marquise Williams finds the end zone again on a 10-yard touchdown run. UNC takes a 17-3 lead over Pitt with 5:14 to go in the second quarter.

11:02 second quarter; UNC 10, Pitt 3: On 3rd and goal from the nine, Marquise Williams overthrows Eric Ebron in the end zone. The Tar Heels send out Thomas Moore for the 26-yard field goal to extend their lead to 10-3.

0:39 first quarter; UNC 7, Pitt 3: Marquise Williams rushes for a 16-yard touchdown after leading the Heels down the field in the air. UNC takes a 7-3 lead with 0:39 to go in the first quarter.

4:26 first quarter; Pitt 3, UNC 0: A pass interference call on the Tar Heels Tim Scott as Pitt reciever Tyler Boyd is tripped up in the end zone gives Pitt the ball on the Heels 13. On the next play Kareem Martin sacks Pitt QB Tom Savage who fumbles the ball. UNC recovers on the 24. 

UNC freshman T.J. Logan is starting in place of the injured A.J. Blue.

10:09 first quarter; Pitt 3, UNC 0: After driving 64 yards down the field Pitt is forced to settle for a 28-yard field goal on their opening drive of the game. They lead the Tar Heels 3-0.


Pregame: The surging North Carolina Tar Heels (4-5, 3-3) will look to win their fourth straight game on Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL-TV) when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers (5-4, 2-3).

The last meeting between the squads took place in 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl, where the Panthers slipped by UNC in a 19-17 final. Despite the victory, Pitt still trails in the all-time series by a count of 4-3.

The Tar Heels began the 2013 campaign with five losses in six games, but over the last several weeks, the team has shown signs of life. 

More specifically, UNC has posted three straight wins in order to move within one game of .500 on the season. Last week, the team dismantled Virginia at home, 45-14, which means the Heels have now outscored the opposition during this run by a combined 106-43.

North Carolina ran out to a 28-0 lead over the Cavaliers last weekend and never looked back, scoring at least one touchdown in every quarter, while holding the visitors scoreless through the first 30 minutes of action.

Quarterback Marquise Williams led the way for UNC as he converted 15-of-28 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, while Quinshad Davis tossed a 29-yard TD to the signal caller as well. If all that were not enough, Williams also carried the ball 16 times for 46 yards and yet another score in the rout.

On defense, Norkeithus Otis stood tall for the Tar Heels with four tackles, three of which came behind the line of scrimmage and two of those against the opposing quarterback. Dominique Green chimed in with an interception return for a touchdown as well. Green now has three interceptions on the season, one behind Tre Boston who is also first on the unit with nine passes defended.

As a team, UNC ranks fifth in the conference and 23rd in the country with 12 INTs on defense, and because of that active presence in the secondary, the group is also fifth in the ACC in passing yards allowed (217.2 ypg).

With quarterback Bryn Renner now out for the season with a shoulder injury, Williams is getting his time in the spotlight and obviously made the most of it last week. He has completed 58.5 percent of his attempts for eight touchdowns and is also second on the unit with two rushing scores.

However, the so-called rushing attack for the Heels consists of only 118.7 ypg and nine touchdowns over as many games.

Last weekend, the Panthers hosted nationally-ranked Notre Dame and delivered a 28-21 victory in order to snap a two-game slide. The win was also the fifth of the season for the squad, placing it within a single victory of being considered for the postseason.

Pittsburgh fell behind last week against visiting Notre Dame, but just when they needed to break the trend of trading scores the Panthers looked to James Conner to fill the bill and he did so with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. From there the Pittsburgh defense held on, limiting UND to slightly more than six minutes of possession in the final frame.

The Panthers made it into the win column even as they converted just 3-of-13 on third down and produced only 355 yards of total offense, compared to 456 for the Irish as they averaged more than seven yards per snap. Conner scored on two of his 10 rushing attempts in the meeting, finishing with 35 yards on the ground, while Tom Savage converted 22-of-35 passes for 243 yards and two scores to Devin Street.

The standout performer on defense for the Panthers was safety Ray Vinopal who was named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week after posting two interceptions, a forced fumble and seven tackles. Not only does Vinopal lead the team in interceptions now with three, he is also tied for third on the unit with 53 tackles through nine games.

As great as Vinopal was, the focus of the defense is still Aaron Donald who has made more than half of his 37 stops behind the line of scrimmage (19.5 TFL) and easily paces the group with nine sacks, not to mention nine quarterback hurries and a trio of forced fumbles.

Street is one of the most productive receivers in school history, but at this point he is actually second on the team in receptions with 44, trailing Tyler Boyd who has 53 catches for 729 yards and six touchdowns. Savage has tossed six TDs to Street as well, compiling 16 aerial scores against seven interceptions, while converting 61 percent of his attempts.

56 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jewelry-EricLeak Nov 16, 4:15 p.m.

    Congrats to the Heels for having some intestinal fortitude, unlike the train wreck that is my beloved Pack.

  • CombatMed Nov 16, 4:11 p.m.

    Game ball goes to Switzer, hands down. 2 PRs for TDs.

    — Posted by CombatMed

    TOTALLY agree!

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    These are the games I like to see too. Anyone can win big, but what happens when everything goes against you? They could have easily folded and lost this game. Switzer and the Defense weren't having any of it.

  • mxteam44 Nov 16, 4:06 p.m.

    Switzer is a beast!!! Game ball goes to him! Great job Heels! That was one tough 2nd half!!!! Way to step it up when it counted defense!!!!

    Man! That was a fun game to watch!!!

  • heelzfan4 Nov 16, 4:02 p.m.

    Ryan Switzer is the man! GO HEELS!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Nov 16, 4:01 p.m.

    Game ball goes to Switzer, hands down. 2 PRs for TDs.

    — Posted by CombatMed

    TOTALLY agree!

  • evadbbat Nov 16, 4:01 p.m.

    Good Job UNC!

  • grh90 Nov 16, 4:00 p.m.

    Ryan the Destroyer Switzerland.

  • CombatMed Nov 16, 3:58 p.m.

    Game ball goes to Switzer, hands down. 2 PRs for TDs.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Nov 16, 3:57 p.m.

    Great, great win. Very hard fought! Happy for the guys, and Switzer is THE MAN!!!!

  • RDI Nov 16, 3:57 p.m.

    Big Win Heels !!!

More...

 

 

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Today at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Today at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Tomorrow at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Today at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
UCLA
 
Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
Final
DAL 109
NYK 102
Final
ATL 115
TOR 126
Final
MIN 86
MIL 103
Final
HOU 102
SAC 89
Final
OKC 97
UTA 82
Final
SAN 106
IND 100
Final
PHO 120
DEN 112
Final
LAL 93
MEM 99
7:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
LSU
7:30pm Tonight
TEX
TCU
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
Final
MARS 68
MORE 77
Final
TCU 74
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
Final
UTAH 85
TXPA 48
Final
LMU 66
UCR 62
Final
SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
Final
UWGB 59
FLGC 45
Final
IOWA 70
NILL 49
Final
ORST 69
AUB 71
Final
MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
Final
SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
Final
NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
Final
EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
Final
IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
Final
GEOR 66
UF 65
Final
GONZ 88
UGA 76
Final
NIOWA 61
NW 42
Final
CAL 72
CPSL 52
Final
UCD 77
UTST 70
Final
SDST 59
ARZ 61
Final
NDAK 75
ALAST 68
Final
CSNO 55
PORST 63
Final
AKAN 62
PAC 71
Final
OKST 73
TULSA 58
Final
COLST 76
MIZST 61
12:00pm Today
TENN
SCU
 
12:00pm Today
RMU
LAMON
 
1:00pm Today
BUT
OKLA
 
2:00pm Today
BRO
PEAY
 
2:00pm Today
UTEP
PRIN
 
2:30pm Today
CHAT
CCAR
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
KU
 
3:30pm Today
USCU
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
GEOR
WISC
 
4:00pm Today
USB
LIU
 
4:30pm Today
XAV
SDU
 
5:00pm Tonight
INDST
ILL
 
6:00pm Tonight
WRST
CSFU
 
6:00pm Tonight
STJOE
WKENT
 
6:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
UCLA
 
8:30pm Tonight
WMICH
LBSU
 
8:30pm Tonight
GT
MARQ
 
9:00pm Tonight
PVU
STEPH
 
9:30pm Tonight
MERC
RICE
 
9:30pm Tonight
UF
UAB
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
SJST
 
11:59pm Tonight
MEM
BAY
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
WASU
 
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
Final
TAM 4
NYR 3
Final
DET 5
PHI 2
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
Final
MIN 0
LOS 4
Final
COL 2
CHI 3
Final
SJS 0
CAL 2
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
EDM
 
12:30pm Today
DET
CHI
4:30pm Today
DAL
PHI
8:30pm Tonight
SFX
SEA