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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

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  • Jewelry-EricLeak Nov 16, 2013

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

  • CombatMed Nov 16, 2013

    View quoted thread



    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, 2013

    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, 2013

    Ryan Switzer is the man! GO HEELS!

  • StunGunn Nov 16, 2013

    View quoted thread



    TOTALLY agree!

  • evadbbat Nov 16, 2013

    Good Job UNC!

  • grh90 Nov 16, 2013

    Ryan the Destroyer Switzerland.

  • CombatMed Nov 16, 2013

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

  • StunGunn Nov 16, 2013

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

  • RDI Nov 16, 2013

    Big Win Heels !!!

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR