UNC Football: Tar Heels’ fourth quarter comeback bid falls short

UNC football loses to Appalachian State after furious fourth quarter comeback attempt

North Carolina freshman quarterback Sam Howell completed 27-of-41 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns, but threw two interceptions and had three total turnovers in the Tar Heels’ 34-31 loss to Appalachian State on Saturday.

UNC sophomore running back Javonte Williams led the Tar Heels’ ground attack with 94 yards on 16 carries, and six players combined for 40 rushes and 146 total yards. Dazz Newsome and Beau Corrales hauled in six receptions a piece, and totaled 172 yards in the air.

But the Tar Heels’ three turnovers and Appalachian State’s 14 points off of those turnovers were simply too much to overcome. North Carolina outscored the Mountaineers 14-7 in the second half, and had a chance to tie the game as time expired. A 56-yard field goal attempt by Noah Ruggles fell way short of the post, making way for Appalachian State’s first victory over a Power 5 school since beating Michigan in 2007.

The 3-0 Mountaineers did just enough to stave off a UNC comeback in the waning moments. Junior quarterback Zac Thomas completed 20 of his 29 pass attempts for 224 yards. Despite not throwing any touchdowns on the day — and one Myles Wolfolk interception — he helped the Mountaineers move the ball well enough to score three offensive touchdowns and two field goals. He also ran the ball six times for 57 yards, part of 161 rushing yards for Appalachian State on the day.

The loss marks the Tar Heels’ second in as many weeks, and brings them to 2-2 on the season. A date with Clemson next week looms, and the Tar Heels will need to play better in order to keep the game close against the nation’s No. 1 team.

Next: Tar Heels battle Clemson, Georgia for this top recruit

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