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NC State comes back to top rival UNC with pair of late touchdowns

#20 NC State 34, UNC 30
(WITN)
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 10:38 AM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Too often for No. 24 N.C. State, rival North Carolina has proven to be the thorn in its side, crashing the party in otherwise successful seasons or, more recently, outright embarrassing the Wolfpack in blowouts.

Friday night was shaping up to be more of the same, with North Carolina up 30-21 late and playing spoiler as N.C. State looked to keep hopes of an ACC Atlantic Division title alive. Two touchdowns in 26 seconds kept those hopes alive a little longer.

Devin Leary threw those two touchdown passes in that short span, with North Carolina State recovering an onside kick in between, to stun North Carolina 34-30.

Leary found Emeka Emezie on a busted coverage for a 64-yard touchdown strike with 1:33 left. The Wolfpack recovered the onside kick, then Leary threw a 24-yard sideline pass to Emezie with 1:09 remaining.

“What a football game,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. “What a game. That’s why you play until the last second’s off the clock.”

N.C. State (9-3, 6-2) beat North Carolina (6-6, 3-5) for the first time since 2018 to remain in contention for a trip to the conference championship game. It also officially eliminated six-time reigning league champion Clemson from the Atlantic Division race.

The Wolfpack would reach the title game if No. 21 Wake Forest loses at Boston College on Saturday, creating a three-way tie atop the division that would favor N.C. State by virtue of its division record and head-to-head win over Clemson.

Leary finished with 247 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Sam Howell had three total touchdowns for North Carolina, and running back British Brooks ran for 124 yards for North Carolina.

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