for this game

Special teams, defense star as UNC blasts UConn

Oct 5, 2008 - 4:58 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Even when the lights went out, North Carolina's defense and special teams were there to supply the power.

In a game delayed 22 minutes in the third quarter due to a power outage in a pair of lighting towers, the Tar Heels used three blocked punts by Bruce Carter and three interceptions to rout 23rd-ranked Connecticut, 38-12, on Saturday.

While the Tar Heels (4-1) were not dominant on the scoresheet, a number of big plays allowed them to hand the Huskies their first loss of the season.

"Certainly a big story in the ballgame was Bruce Carter's performance," Tar Heels head coach Butch Davis said. "It was outstanding. He was terrific as a linebacker. Certainly the blocks set up some great field position that led to one score."

Marvin Austin returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and Matt Merletti recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to highlight a great night on special teams for the Tar Heels, who were outgained, 378-263.

Connecticut (5-1) got on the board first courtesy of a 26-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino, but North Carolina took control from there.

After Casey Barth's 31-yard field goal tied the game at 3-3, Mark Paschal picked off Zach Frazer and Ryan Houston scored on a 1-yard carry three plays later to give the Tar Heels the lead.

Shaun Draughn led North Carolina's rushing attack, which totaled 142 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, with 108 yards.

"It was our mission to run the football and that's what we wanted to do," UNC quarterback Cameron Sexton said. "When you give those guys room to run, they're going to look good doing it. I think up front we were really, really physical and were able to run the ball."

An interception by Sexton wasted one of the Tar Heels' blocked punts.

But North Carolina's special teams struck again on the Huskies' next possession. Merletti recovered the ball in the end zone on the second consecutive blocked punt to extend the lead to 17-3.

"I'm able to get a good jump on the ball," Carter said. "With all the guys on the line going hard, you never know who's going to open up."

Connecticut had a chance to cut into the deficit before the half, but Frazer was intercepted at the UNC 5-yard line with 10 seconds left in the second quarter.

Frazer, who transferred from Notre Dame, completed 24-of-44 passes for 210 yards in place of injured starter Tyler Lorenzen, who broke his right foot in last week's victory over Louisville.

"We can't turn the ball over and give the short field and give points away on turnovers, which we did on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, an interception returned for a touchdown, and an interception to put the ball on the plus-15 yard line," UConn head coach Randy Edsall said. "We're not going to beat teams like North Carolina if we do that."

Ciaravino's second field goal, this one from 31 yards, cut the deficit to 17-6. But Draughn scored on a 39-yard scamper and Austin returned Fraser's third pick of the night less than two minutes later to put the game out of reach.

"Disappointing loss, to say the least," Edsall said. "I just give North Carolina credit. They're a very talented football team, a very athletic football team, but again, we didn't get the job done. It's pure and simple. We didn't play to our capabilities, and they had something to do with that."

Sexton completed 9-of-16 passes for 117 yards and a 15-yard touchdown to Hakeem Nicks.

"I thought Cameron did an outstanding job of just managing the game," Davis said. "There were lots of emotional ups and downs. It was kind of hard offensively to get into a rhythm, because you would score in a couple of plays or the defense would get an interception or block a punt and it was kind of a bizarre game."

Donald Brown rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown for Connecticut. Brown, who entered the game leading the country in rushing, increased his season total to 1,076 yards and scored on a 1-yard run with 9:23 left in the fourth quarter.

Connecticut was dominant in time possession, owning the ball for 36:22. But the Huskies were penalized 11 times for 97 yards.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3 0 3 6 12
    NORTH CAROLINA 10 7 14 7 38 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CONNECTICUT - FG, TONY CIARAVINO 26 YD, 7:59.
    CONNECTICUT 3-0
    NORTH CAROLINA - FG, CASEY BARTH 31 YD, 12:16.
    CONNECTICUT 3-3
    NORTH CAROLINA - TD, RYAN HOUSTON 1 YD RUN (CASEY
    BARTH KICK), 14:35. NORTH
    C

    Oct 4 10:40 PM


  • NCAAF
    CONNECTICUT (24) 12
    NORTH CAROLINA 38 3:17 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Connecticut(24) 12, North Carolina 38  4th - 3:17Oct 4 10:29 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3 0 3 6
    NORTH CAROLINA 10 7 14 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CONNECTICUT - FG, TONY CIARAVINO 26 YD, 7:59.
    CONNECTICUT 3-0
    NORTH CAROLINA - FG, CASEY BARTH 31 YD, 12:16.
    CONNECTICUT 3-3
    NORTH CAROLINA - TD, RYAN HOUSTON 1 YD RUN (CASEY
    BARTH KICK),

    Oct 4 10:02 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    MARVIN AUSTIN 23 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (CASEY BARTH KICK)
    CONNECTICUT (24) 6
    NORTH CAROLINA 31 4:09 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Connecticut(24) 6, North Carolina 31  3rd - 4:09Oct 4 9:46 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    SHAUN DRAUGHN 39 YD RUN
    (CASEY BARTH KICK)
    CONNECTICUT (24) 6
    NORTH CAROLINA 24 6:04 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Connecticut(24) 6, North Carolina 24  3rd - 6:04Oct 4 9:40 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG CONNECTICUT
    TONY CIARAVINO 31 YD
    CONNECTICUT (24) 6
    NORTH CAROLINA 17 10:06 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Connecticut(24) 6, North Carolina 17  3rd - 10:06Oct 4 9:06 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3 0 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 10 7 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CONNECTICUT - FG, TONY CIARAVINO 26 YD, 7:59.
    CONNECTICUT 3-0
    NORTH CAROLINA - FG, CASEY BARTH 31 YD, 12:16.
    CONNECTICUT 3-3
    NORTH CAROLINA - TD, RYAN HOUSTON 1 YD RUN (CASEY
    BARTH KICK), 14:35.

    Oct 4 8:38 PM
  • 34
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 24 roots (Upset)

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 17  HalfOct 4 8:38 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    BRUCE CARTER RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (CASEY BARTH KICK)
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 17 5:08 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 17  2nd - 5:08Oct 4 8:16 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CONNECTICUT - FG, TONY CIARAVINO 26 YD, 7:59.
    CONNECTICUT 3-0
    NORTH CAROLINA - FG, CASEY BARTH 31 YD, 12:16.
    CONNECTICUT 3-3
    NORTH CAROLINA - TD, RYAN HOUSTON 1 YD RUN (CASEY
    BARTH KICK),

    Oct 4 7:48 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTH CAROLINA
    RYAN HOUSTON 1 YD RUN
    (CASEY BARTH KICK)
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 10 0:25 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 10  1st - 0:25Oct 4 7:43 PM
  • 10
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 3  1st - 2:44Oct 4 7:39 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NORTH CAROLINA
    CASEY BARTH 31 YD
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 3 2:44 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 3  1st - 2:44Oct 4 7:34 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG CONNECTICUT
    TONY CIARAVINO 26 YD
    CONNECTICUT (24) 3
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 7:01 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Connecticut(24) 3, North Carolina 0  1st - 7:01Oct 4 7:24 PM
  • 5
    roots