Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
The Tar Heels doused Virginia's hopes for a bowl game by defeating the Cavaliers, 37-13, on Thursday night.
North Carolina put further distance between themselves and the Cavaliers early in the fourth, as quarterback Bryn Renner connected with running back Giovani Bernard for a 26-yard touchdown strike, making the score 27-13. The play capped a 12-play, 97 yard drive in under five minutes. Renner would add another touchdown strike, this one a 20-yard strike to wide receiver Erik Highsmith (his second of the night) to make the score 34-13 midway through the fourth.
The Tar Heels got off to a strong start in the first half, taking a 14-3 early in the second quarter after running back A.J. Blue's three-yard touchdown run. Virginia responded, however, when quarterback Phillip Sims hit sophomore wide receiver Darius Jennings for a nine-yard touchdown pass.
North Carolina's defense responded, however, when Tre Boston picked off a Michael Rocco pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown, making the score 20-10 at halftime following a missed extra point attempt.
The third quarter slowed down a bit, as Virginia trimmed North Carolina's lead to 20-13 at the time after a 28-yard field goal by placekicker Drew Jarrett.
Box Score Hero: Tar Heels Quarterback Bryn Renner torched the Cavaliers, going 29-for-36 passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns on the night.
Rankings Ramifications: With the loss, the Cavaliers, at 4-7 overall, will not be able to reach the six-win threshold needed to qualify for a bowl game. North Carolina bumped their conference record over .500 to 4-3 in the ACC with the victory.
But Did They Cover? North Carolina was a 3½-point favorite, according to OddsShark, and they certainly covered that spread.