Saturday, November 24, 2012
Tar Heels hang on to beat Maryland
By Heather Dinich
UNC won? Really? Because for much of that game, it seemed as if the Tar Heels would lose to the beat-up Terps and their fifth-string quarterback.
Instead, UNC woke up in the third quarter and held on to beat Maryland 45-38. That Maryland's offense even managed 38 points on the road considering the circumstances was remarkable. The Terps defense, though, which had been so heavily relied upon and legitimately good this season, had no answer for UNC quarterback Bryn Renner, who tied a school record with five touchdown passes. Maryland led 35-21 after Stefon Diggs scored on a 99-yard kickoff return, but UNC scored 24 straight points and Maryland's offensive ineptitude returned.
Regardless of how it did it, North Carolina finished the season on a positive note in Larry Fedora's first season. Eight wins was an impressive accomplishment considering the sweeping change the program underwent with the transition to a new staff. The 8-4 mark gives UNC its best winning percentage (.667) in a season since 1997 (11-1, .917) and the five ACC wins are the most since 2004 (5-3). UNC also finished the season 6-1 at Kenan Stadium.
For Maryland, a miserable season finally came to an end, but the Terps have plenty to be proud of, including an all-out effort until the very end. Randy Edsall's team deserves a ton of credit for not quitting when so many outside the program quit on them before the season even started and C.J. Brown went down.