In a back-and-forth affair, the Tar Heels get help on special teams from their star running back.
In a shootout, the team with the ball last usually wins. Giovani Bernard took care of that single-handedly for North Carolina.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game, sophomore running back Giovani Bernard took an NC State punt 73 yards to the house, completing a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback and 43-35 victory. The Davie, Fla., product had 303 all-purpose yards on the day, with 135 coming on the ground.
After compiling a 15-point lead in the first quarter, North Carolina got torched for five touchdowns by NC State quarterback Mike Glennon in the second and third quarters, leading to a 10-point NC State lead.
But the Tar Heels weren't done. North Carolina outscored the Wolfpack 18-0 in the fourth quarter, assuring their third win in the ACC and bringing their overall record to 6-3. NC State drops to 5-3 and is just 2-2 in ACC play.
Box Score Hero: Giovani Bernard was all over this game. In addition to the game-winning punt return touchdown, the sophomore had 135 yards on 23 carries, and added eight receptions for 95 yards for a total of 303 all-purpose yards.
Rankings Ramifications: With the win, North Carolina may be able to sniff some Top 25 votes, but probably won't make an impact on the rankings. NC State is squarely out of the Top 25 and is well behind the likes of Florida State and Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division.
But Did They Cover? Despite the win, the Tar Heels were unable to cover the 9-point spread. However, the 78 points scored in the game went well over the total of 56.
Next Week's Schedule: NC State hosts the 2-6 Virginia Cavaliers, while North Carolina has a bye before facing Georgia Tech Nov. 10.