Quarterback Drake Maye threw for 284 yards and North Carolina overcame three turnovers to hold off Georgia State 35-28 on Saturday in Atlanta.
Maye completed 19 of 24 passes with one interception and two touchdowns and Omarion Hampton ran 16 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 10:42 left in the game.
Georgia State had three possessions after North Carolina (3-0) took the lead but had to punt each time.
Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger was 16-for-24 for 184 yards and three touchdowns and ran 18 times for 75 yards. Robert Lewis caught seven passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia State (0-2) has lost both its games to Power Five opposition.
The Tar Heels scored on their first possession when Maye found tight end Kamari Morales for a 55-yard catch and run touchdown. Georgia State answered with a 45-yard field goal by Michael Hayes to cut the lead to 7-3.
North Carolina scored two straight touchdowns, a 7-yard run by D.J. Jones and a 28-yard pass from Maye to Kobe Paysour. Georgia State cut the lead to 21-10 on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Grainger to Kris Byrd.
Georgia State had one more chance before halftime when UNC gambled on fourth-and-2 at its own 39 and Maye was sacked by Jontrey Hunter. But the Panthers were unable to move the ball and Hayes had his 44-yard field goal try blocked by Myles Murphy.
Georgia State scored 18 straight points to start the third quarter. Lewis caught a 49-yard pass from Grainger, Hayes kicked a 45-yard field goal and Lewis caught a 29-yard pass. The two-point conversion pass to Jamari Thrash gave GSU a 28-21 lead with 2:04 left in the third quarter.
North Carolina answered by scoring in four plays, with Hampton breaking the line and running for a 58-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left in the third to tie the game at 28-28.
The game marked the first time an opponent from a Power Five conference had played at Georgia State since the program began in 2010
–Field Level Media