North Carolina rallied from an 18-point, second-half hole Saturday to hand No. 9 Wake Forest its first loss of the season, 58-55, going ahead on Grayson Atkins’ 25-yard field goal with 2:12 to play before Ty Chandler’s fourth touchdown run sealed the victory in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Chandler gained 213 yards on 22 carries, his final points coming on a 50-yard run before Sam Hartman’s fifth touchdown throw for visiting Wake Forest.
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. He gained 104 yards on the ground on 21 attempts and passed for 216 yards.
Hartman threw for 398 yards and ran for two touchdowns for Wake, but he was intercepted twice. A.T. Perry and Jaquarii Roberson each caught two touchdown passes.
Wake Forest (8-1), which holds a Top 10 ranking for the first time in program history, has scored at least 40 points in six games and had never won more than their first seven games of a season until this year.
This was a non-league game contested between Atlantic Coast Conference members and in-state rivals. The Tar Heels (5-4), who began the season ranked in the Top 10, have surrendered more than 40 points in three straight games.
North Carolina caught up at 48-48 with 10:29 left after Chandler touchdown runs of 13 and 21 yards in a 53-second span.
Wake Forest led 45-27 midway through in the third quarter. Last year, the Tar Heels rallied from 21 down to top the Demon Deacons in an ACC game.
On Saturday, the score was 48-34 after Nick Sciba’s 42-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Of the game’s first 10 possessions, there were six touchdowns, a field goal, two turnovers and a punt.
Hartman threw three first-half touchdown passes as the Demon Deacons led 31-24 at the break.
Howell ran for first-quarter touchdowns from 18 and 12 yards.
North Carolina lost standout linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel for targeting on the last play of the first quarter. Wake Forest went back ahead on the next play on Hartman’s 15-yard pass to Roberson.
–Field Level Media
Taylor Morin also caught a touchdown pass for Wake Forest.