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Drake Maye (5 TDs) rallies No. 21 North Carolina past Pitt

Sportsnaut
Oct 29, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jared Wayne (5) with the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels defensive back Cam'Ron Kelly (9) defends in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Maye threw five touchdown passes, including two in the second half to Josh Downs, and No. 21 North Carolina overcame visiting Pittsburgh for a 42-24 victory Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Maye and receiver Antoine Green also hooked up for two touchdown passes. Maye went 34-for-44 for 388 yards in the air and picked up 61 rushing yards on 14 attempts.

The outcome puts the Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) squarely in control of the ACC’s Coastal Division midway through their league slate.

The Tar Heels trailed 24-14 midway through the third quarter before scoring 28 straight points in slightly more than 11 minutes.

Pittsburgh (4-4, 1-3) lost its second straight game and severely damaged its chances of repeating as ACC champion despite Israel Abanikanda’s three touchdown runs and 127 rushing yards.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis was 14-for-31 for 236 yards.

Green caught 10 passes for 180 yards and Downs made 11 grabs for 102 yards for Carolina.

North Carolina took its first lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on Elijah Green’s 2-yard run.

Trailing 24-14, North Carolina stayed close with a 12-play third-quarter drive that included two third-down conversions and a fourth-and-5 pickup. Maye passed 13 yards to Downs for a touchdown.

Elijah Green’s 2-yard touchdown run was the first of North Carolina’s three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Pittsburgh opened the scoring on Abanikanda’s 6-yard run.

Maye’s 25th touchdown throw of the season went for 16 yards to Antoine Green, allowing the Tar Heels to tie the score at 7-7.

Abanikanda countered with a 4-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Then the Panthers used a 10-play drive to cover 63 yards and stretch their lead to 17-7 on Ben Sauls’ 47-yard field goal.

The Tar Heels reacted in a hurry, with Maye hitting Antoine Green twice for pass plays that accounted for 68 yards before making a 1-yard scoring toss to Kobe Paysour.

Pittsburgh had two players, including defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, ejected in the first half for targeting.

North Carolina lost running back Caleb Hood with a second-quarter injury.

–Field Level Media