ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 4: Russell Shepard #10 of the LSU Tigers runs down the field for a touchdown against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Georgia Dome September 4 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

LSU (Barely) Holds Off Depleted UNC, 30-24

T.J. Yates led No. 18 North Carolina to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and nearly a third on the final play of the game, but it wasn't enough for the short-handed Tar Heels, as No. 21 LSU barely held on for a 30-24 win at the Georgia Dome. Read more at Carolina March and And The Valley Shook.

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LSU 30, North Carolina 24: Tar Heels Late Rally Slips Away, Tigers Hang On For Win

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - T.J. Yates led 18th-ranked North Carolina to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and nearly a third on the final play of the game, but it wasn't enough for the short-handed Tar Heels, as No. 21 LSU barely held on for a 30-24 win at the Georgia Dome.

The Heels were without 13 players for the season-opener. Seven of those were for violations of school or NCAA rules and six others were kept out while the investigation continues into possible violations of North Carolina law involving sports agents.

Yates had over 400 yards passing, with over half of that being reeled in by Jheranie Boyd, but the Tigers (1-0) were able to thwart final pass to the end zone.

It all seemed lost for the Tar Heels (0-1) after Yates was sacked from the blind side by Tyrann Mathieu, and the Tigers recovered at the UNC 39 with 1 1/2 minutes left. But Stevan Ridley fumbled the ball away on third down, giving UNC life again.

Boyd made a key 21-yard catch, and Yates followed that with a 20-yarder to the sideline for Joshua Adams. A nine-yard connection to senior tight end Zack Pianalto put the ball at the six with six seconds left. The two tried hooking up again in the back of the end zone, but Pianalto couldn't hold on.

That gave Yates a last try with two seconds left. He looked for Pianalto over the middle, just over the goal line, but the pass fell incomplete as linebacker Stefoin Francois impeded the tight end's progress with his left hand. Yates motioned for a penalty flag, but none came and LSU coach Les Miles breathed a sigh of relief.


UNC Hurry-Up Offense Can't Close; LSU Wins In Atlanta, 30-24

It wasn't pretty, but the fourth quarter of the 2010 Chick-fil-A Classic certainly was captivating. When last we left our heroes, T.J. Yates had fumbled trailing by six with a minute and a half to play. Less than twenty seconds later, LSU's Stevan Ridley was hit hard on the run, and fumbled, recovered by Quan Sturdivant. Yates went into hurry-up pass mode again, leading a 67-yard, rapid-fire drive to the LSU 6-yard line ... where he threw two incomplete passes into the endzone. Final score: LSU 30, UNC 24.


LSU 30, UNC 24: Georgia Dome Temperature Rising

With time winding down in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Classic, T.J. Yates led a 13-play, 67-yard touchdown drive that ate the better part of five minutes off the clock, and capped it by lofting a 14-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Erik Highsmith in the corner of the endzone. UNC has recovered the onside kick. Two and half minutes to play. We got a game here, people.

[UPDATE: Correction -- we do not have a game here. Yates is sacked running the hurry-up with a minute and a half on the clock. He fumbles. The ball squirts backwards. LSU recovers.]


Record-Breaking UNC Touchdown Cuts LSU Lead To 30-17

After a scoreless third quarter between LSU and UNC, at about the three-hour mark of this game, an LSU touchdown gets called back, and Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit drop all pretense of even appearing to care what's happening on the field. Eyelids across America begin to droop. UNC fans (whom, it should be noted, have stayed to watch the slow death of their squad in admirable droves), trickle up the stairs and out of the Georgia Dome.

And that's about when T.J. Yates rears back in the shadow of his own goalpost and launches a pass at Jheranie Boyd, who catches it around the 50 and rockets to a 97-yard touchdwon. It is the longest play from scrimmage in Carolina history. LSU leads, 30-17, but eight minutes remain, and we're wondering: Where has that play been all night?


LSU 30, UNC 10: A Difference Of Capitalization

We've all had ample opportunity tonight to witness what this LSU team does with breaks that go its way. We're now fairly certain the game is breaking open right about now because of UNC's inability to do the same (although in a day that saw Ole Miss blow a 31-10 lead to Jacksonville State and lose in double overtime, nothing is ever as out of reach as it seems).

UNC recovered an LSU fumble. Their capitalization: A two-yard rush, a sack, a three-yard loss rush, and a punt ... that Patrick Peterson returned for an 86-yard touchdown. LSU 23, UNC 10; four minutes remain in the half.

[UPDATE: In the time it took me to type the two short paragraphs above, the Tar Heels went three-and-out and LSU's Rueben Randle caught a 51-yard touchdown pass on the very next play. Talent differential can't be forgotten, either.)


LSU, UNC Rapidly Trading Leads; Tigers Up 16-10 In Second Quarter

Well, well, we got ourselves the makin's! Things Are Happening! But they're ACC things, which means a pass for a 75-yard gain from Yates to Jheranie Boyd is followed by a two-yard rush and two incomplete passes and a field goal for a 10-7 UNC lead.

Les Miles is quick with the 20-sided Die Of Occasional Offensive Prowess, however, and the ensuing kickoff is returned by the Tigers for 45 yards. Six seconds later, Russell Shephard scores a 50-yard rushing touchdown. Tigers lead 14-10 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half, and have stopped UNC's kickoff return inside the Tar Heel's five-yard line.

And this is about where things fall apart for North Carolina, again -- the ball goes out of the end zone for a safety. LSU leads, 16-10.


LSU 7, UNC 7: Already Blowing Our Offensive Estimates Away

After an action-free remainder of a first quarter, the highlight of which was a ceremonious sacking of T.J. Yates for a nine-yard UNC loss on third down, the start of the second quarter sees all our lowballed offensive estimates completely outstripped. (To be fair, this is because we expected neither team to score a touchdown.) Yates threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Devon Ramsay, and the Tigers and Tar Heels are tied at 7-all with 13:49 remaining in the second quarter.

Hot topic in the press box: UNC has a kid returning kicks named Hunter Furr. Why is this young man not playing for LSU?


LSU 7, UNC 0: Tigers Take Advantage Of Second Tar Heel Fumble

The second UNC fumble of the game seemed to take for the Tigers, and Jordan Jefferson connected with Russell Shepard for a six-yard touchdown pass down the middle. Tigers lead Tar Heels 7-0 with 8:57 remaining in the first quarter.

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