No. 24 NC State stuns UNC 34-30 with two touchdowns in 26 seconds

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

RALEIGH, N.C. – Too often for No. 24 N.C. State, rival North Carolina has proven to be the thorn in its side – crashing the party in otherwise successful seasons or, more recently, outright embarrassing the Wolfpack in blowouts.

Friday night was shaping up to be more of the same, with North Carolina up 30-21 late and playing spoiler as N.C. State looked to keep hopes of an ACC Atlantic Division title alive. Two touchdowns in 26 seconds kept those hopes alive a little longer.

Devin Leary threw those two touchdown passes in that short span, with North Carolina State recovering an onside kick in between, to stun North Carolina 34-30.

Leary found Emeka Emezie on a busted coverage for a 64-yard touchdown strike with 1:33 left. The Wolfpack recovered the onside kick, then Leary threw a 24-yard sideline pass to Emezie with 1:09 remaining.

“What a football game,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. “What a game. That’s why you play until the last second’s off the clock.”

N.C. State (9-3, 6-2) beat North Carolina (6-6, 3-5) for the first time since 2018 to remain in contention for a trip to the conference championship game. It also officially eliminated six-time reigning league champion Clemson from the Atlantic Division race.

The Wolfpack would reach the title game if No. 21 Wake Forest loses at Boston College on Saturday, creating a three-way tie atop the division that would favor N.C. State by virtue of its division record and head-to-head win over Clemson.

Leary finished with 247 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Sam Howell had three total touchdowns for North Carolina, and running back British Brooks ran for 124 yards for North Carolina.


N.C. State: The rivalry has rarely been about more than local pride, but the conference implications for the Wolfpack meant an added layer of intrigue for this 2021 iteration.

The Wolfpack jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but looked dead for much of the night, managing just seven points in the second and third quarters; two touchdowns in 26 seconds changed all that.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels, bowl eligible as of last week, had nothing to play for Friday night except bragging rights – and the chance to play spoiler.

Though Howell, who missed last week’s game against Wofford with an upper-body injury, seemed to be running for his life all night, he managed to run for two scores and keep drives alive with his legs.

A pair of late collapses, however – the busted coverage on Emezie, and the botched onside recovery – proved costly.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve got to do a better job,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “We’ve still got work to do, and that comes back to me.”


Down two with 1:35 left, kicker Christopher Dunn kicked his onside attempt right down the middle of the field. The ball bounced up in the area of two Tar Heels, who both had a chance at it, but kept rolling until it was recovered by the Wolfpack’s C.J. Riley. From there, a pair of 15-yard penalties – a roughing the passer and a pass interference – helped keep the Wolfpack drive alive before the game-winning toss to Emezie.


Leary’s four passing touchdowns put him at 35 on the season, passing Phillip Rivers’ 34 for the highest single-season mark in Wolfpack history. He also leads all quarterbacks in touchdowns against ACC competition with 27.

His last score also gave the Wolfpack a perfect record at home this season, a first since 1986.


N.C. State: The Wolfpack will be locked in on Wake Forest’s noon matchup against Boston College, with a Demon Deacons loss sending N.C. State to its first ACC championship game.

North Carolina: Await bowl fate.

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.