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Virginia Tech pulls off first major upset of 2021 college football season vs. No. 9 North Carolina

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Virginia Tech pulls off first major upset of 2021 college football season vs. No. 9 North Carolina

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BLACKSBURG, Va. — Name it a resounding dud for North Carolina.

The ninth-ranked Tar Heels face-planted and fell 17-10 to Virginia Tech in Friday night time’s season opener between the Atlantic Waft Conference football teams, in entrance of a packed residence at Lane Stadium.

A sea of orange-clad fans greeted North Carolina, which arrived tagged with high expectations for the open up of coach Mack Brown’s third season assist in price of the program. UNC entered Friday with its very top preseason national rating since 1997, and the residence of preseason popular to net the ACC’s Coastal Division.

These expectations would possibly perchance perchance fair must be reset after this deflating night time.

 The fans stormed the self-discipline right here after Virginia Tech defensive assist Chamarri Conner’s interception of North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell with 37 seconds final successfully ended the game.

Ouch

Howell, the North Carolina star junior, became as soon as sacked six times and threw three interceptions, including the first fourth-quarter interception of his college profession.

Hokies within the finish zone right now

Now no longer powerful resistance from the Tar Heels defense on their first possession of the season. Virginia Tech QB Braxton Burmeister scored on a 4-yard keeper and the Hokies wanted no longer as a lot as five minutes to salvage on the board (officially the drive lasted 4: 59).

North Carolina’s defense opened the season by allowing an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

Halftime gap

North Carolina confronted an uphill climb by halftime, with Virginia Tech main 14-0. The Hokies converted six straight third-down possibilities to open up the night time, within the assist of Burmeister (7 of 8 passing for 126 yards within the first half).

The Heisman Trophy marketing campaign didn’t salvage off to a flying open up for Howell. He went 4 of 8 passing for 58 yards within the first half, became as soon as sacked four times and fumbled as soon as. 

Record-surroundings obtain

Josh Downs bought free on 37-yard TD net and budge within the 2nd half. It took more than 2½ quarters, but UNC finally became as soon as on the board. The Hokies led 14-7 within the third quarter.

The TD lumber became as soon as the 69th of Howell’s UNC profession, making him the college’s all-time leader.

No. 0 assist-to-assist

Inspire-to-assist tall performs by guys sporting No. 0 for UNC came about within the first half.

Defensive assist Ja’Qurious Conley picked up a fumble recovery to derail a Virginia Tech drive interior the North Carolina 10-yard line. Then, UNC receiver Emery Simmons hauled in a 22-yard net.

Sack snuffs out UNC drive

Virginia Tech defensive lineman Mario Kendricks dropped Howell for a 13-yard loss on third-and-7 on the Hokies’ 26, snuffing out what had been a promising UNC drive. The Tar Heels had marched from their very possess 9-yard line with Howell and running assist Ty Chandler getting them appealing.

Adam Smith is a sports actions reporter for the Burlington Times-News and USA TODAY Network. You furthermore mght can reach him by electronic mail at asmith@thetimesnews.com or @adam_smithTN on Twitter.

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Virginia Tech pulls off first major upset of 2021 college football season vs. No. 9 North Carolina