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UNC erases 18-point third-quarter deficit to hand No. 9 Wake Forest its first loss, 58-55

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WRAL) - Last year against Wake Forest, UNC trailed by 21 points in the third quarter and came back to win.

This year, it was 18 points. But the result was the same.

No. 9 Wake Forest (8-1, 5-0 ACC) took its first loss of the season to UNC (5-4, 3-3 ACC), 58-55.

It was a back-and-forth affair for most of it, but just like last year, Wake Forest could not maintain drives when UNC began its comeback charge.

There were over 1,000 yards of offense combined between the two teams (615 for Wake Forest and 546 for UNC).

Wake led 31-24 at the break and not long after UNC made a field goal to cut it to a four-point game, Wake scored two straight touchdowns to go up 45-27 with 7:38 to go in the third quarter.

That’s when UNC began its charge.

Wake scored on eight of its first 11 drives and UNC had scored on three of its first seven. But the Tar Heels scored on seven of their final eight drives while Wake went scoreless on three of its final four drives, only managing to score when 37 seconds remained. Wake attempted an onside kick, but did not get it.

UNC quarterback Sam Howell completed 16 of 26 passes for 216 yards for one touchdown and added 104 yards on the ground and another two scores.

UNC receiver Josh Downs, who had scored a touchdown in every game this season so far, was shut out. But some of UNC’s other receiving threats stepped up. Antoine Green finished with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.

And running back Ty Chandler carried the offensive load as well, adding 213 yards and four touchdowns.

Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman threw just his fourth interception of the season, but completed 25 of 51 passes for 398 yards and five touchdowns. He accounted for seven total touchdowns on the afternoon as he ran for 78 yards and two more scores.

Wake wide receiver Jaquarii Robinson had seven catches for 111 yards and two scores, while A.T. Perry added six catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Deacs.

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