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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Deunta Williams exits with broken leg

ESPN.com news services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- North Carolina safety Deunta Williams broke his lower right leg making a tackle in the first quarter of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Thursday night.

The senior was hurt with 5:32 left in the first quarter as he helped tackle Tennessee tight end Luke Stocker at the end of an 8-yard reception. Trainers almost immediately waved for a cart, and they placed Williams' right leg into a brace before gently lifting him onto the back of the cart.

"I broke down crying because that's my roommate," cornerback Kendric Burney said of Williams. "We're from the same town. It hurt, but the guys stepped up. When I went in at halftime, Deunta said [to] win this for us and that's what we did."

North Carolina did just that, winning 30-27 in double overtime.

School officials said Williams broke the right fibula near his ankle. Trainers were able to reduce the injury, and the senior was able to return to the team hotel for the night. He will travel back to North Carolina on his own Friday.

Defensive end Donte Paige-Moss had his nose bloodied after losing his helmet and getting smacked in the left cheek by teammate Quinton Coples' helmet.

Paige-Moss lost his helmet as he ran upfield and helped sack Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray midway through the third quarter of Thursday's Music City Bowl. Coples, a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference defensive end, was running toward Bray too when his helmet crashed into Paige-Moss' face.

The hit popped Paige-Moss' head back, and he slumped to the field. Trainers tended to him, trying to stop the bleeding from his nose. He was able to walk to the sideline where trainers checked him further.

But he returned for the very next series.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.