EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut's Dan Ryan was called for holding in the end zone with 1:32 left in the game Saturday, giving No. 19 North Carolina a safety and a 12-10 comeback win over the Huskies.
The Tar Heels(2-0) trailed 10-0 entering the fourth quarter, when Casey Barth kicked a 22-yard field goal. Then, T.J. Yates led the team on a 13-play drive, and his 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zack Pianalto with 2:36 left tied the game at 10.
Pianalto hurt his leg jumping up and down after the score and had to be taken from the field in an air cast, another bizarre moment from a game that ended in crazy fashion.
After the safety, UConn recovered the onside kick but couldn't get into field-goal range, allowing North Carolina to improve to 3-0 against the Huskies. UConn has just one win in 13 games against Top 25 opponents.
The Huskies (1-1) were playing without its best defensive player, injured linebacker Scott Lutrus, and lost starting quarterback Zack Frazer to a knee injury late in the third quarter.
UConn's stifling defense held North Carolina scoreless and with just 134 yards of offense through three quarters. The Huskies seemed poised for an upset after cornerback Robert McClain batted Yates' pass into the hands of Twyon Martin at the Tar Heels 26 late in the third quarter.
UConn tailback Jordan Todman dragged several defenders the final four yards for the score, putting the Huskies up 10-0.
Yates, who completed 23 of 32 passes for 233 yards and two interceptions, found his groove in the fourth quarter. He led the Tar Heels on a 78-yard drive that ended with Barth's field goal, and when UNC got the ball back, he marched 78-yards again, eating up 6:36 before finding Pianalto in the end zone from 2-yards out.
While the Huskies held North Carolina to just 65 yards in the first half, and pressured Yates all day, North Carolina's defense held UConn to just 196 yards, and dominated the Huskies in the fourth quarter.
UConn kicker Dave Teggart hit a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead at intermission.
The Tar Heels had only one real scoring chance in the first half, set up when Charles Brown forced and recovered a fumble. Barth was well short on a 45-yard field-goal attempt.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.