CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Johnny White rushed for two touchdowns and gained 179 total yards, and North Carolina held on to beat Clemson 21-16 on Saturday for its third straight victory.
White caught six passes for 90 yards, finished with 89 yards rushing and scored on runs of 4 and 26 yards.
T.J. Yates was 18-for-34 for 164 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jheranie Boyd for the Tar Heels (3-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They coaxed just enough production out of the offense to beat the Tigers for the first time since 2001.
Kyle Parker's 74-yard TD pass to Jaron Brown with 5:31 left pulled the Tigers (2-3, 0-2) within five, but they couldn't convert the two-point attempt and didn't get the ball back until only 13 seconds remained. Parker then threw three deep passes, all incompletions.
He finished 21-for-38 for 214 yards for the Tigers, who were held to a season-low 305 total yards and lost their third straight.
The Tar Heels -- who finished with 255 total yards and were held to 15 total yards in the third quarter -- certainly needed both of White's scoring runs. Two plays after his 12-yard catch from Yates on fourth-and-4, White bounced off a series of tacklers on his way to the end zone. That 26-yard run extended the lead to 21-10 with 6:53 to play.
Jamie Harper pulled the Tigers to 14-10 with a 10-yard touchdown run with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third. Clemson drove into North Carolina territory on its next possession, but the drive stalled at the 24 and Chandler Catanzaro's 42-yard field goal was wide right.
Brown finished with 107 yards receiving on four catches for the Tigers.
On a day safety Deunta Williams returned to the Tar Heels following a four-game suspension, the school also announced a few hours before kickoff that fullback Devon Ramsay -- who had played in the previous four games -- would sit out after additional information turned up in the ongoing NCAA investigation of the program. The school also said safety Jonathan Smith -- who had been held out -- would not play this season, but didn't specify why.
That had the potential to create yet another distraction in a season full of them for the Tar Heels, but they certainly came out looking focused. White powered in from 4 yards out to cap their opening drive -- a 12-play, 48-yard march during which Yates was 6 of 7 for 35 yards.
North Carolina's offense was stuck in neutral for much of the rest of the half, with Yates misfiring on 7 of 9 attempts during a rough stretch that preceded his pretty 51-yard strike to a streaking White down the left sideline. That kept alive an 80-yard drive that the senior quarterback capped with his scoring pass to Boyd with 54 seconds before the half, putting the Tar Heels up 14-3.
Clemson had pulled to 7-3 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half on Catanzaro's 48-yard field goal.
South Carolina has decided to give up Saturday's home game against No. 7 LSU because of devastating floods that have hit the state, moving the game to Baton Rouge.
Texas says longhorn steer mascot Bevo XIV has a "life-threatening condition" and won't travel to Dallas for the team's rivalry game Saturday against No. 10 Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.
West Virginia All-Big 12 safety Karl Joseph is out for the remainder of the season after injuring his knee during a non-contact drill in Tuesday's practice.
Rutgers has reinstated senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo a day after an assault charge against him was dropped.
Ole Miss cornerback Tee Shepard, who missed all of last season with a toe injury, has decided to give up football and focus on completing his college degree.
UCLA junior linebacker Myles Jack has withdrawn from school and will enter the NFL draft, making the decision just weeks after suffering a season-ending knee injury.