Terps end season with sixth consecutive loss
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Bryn Renner tied a school record with five touchdown passes, while Gio Bernard ran for 163 yards and a score to help North Carolina beat Maryland 45-38 in the finale for both teams Saturday.
Freshman Quinshad Davis had nine catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (8-4, 5-3 ACC), who blew the game open with a dominating third quarter en route to another big scoring output in their first season under Larry Fedora. North Carolina won eight games for the second time in three seasons but is banned from a bowl because of NCAA sanctions.
Brandon Ross ran for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins (4-8, 2-6), who closed their second straight bowl-less season under Randy Edsall. They led 35-21 after Stefon Diggs' 99-yard kickoff return to open the second half, but UNC scored 24 straight points to take back control.
Renner connected with Davis for a 50-yard scoring pass to start UNC's game-turning charge, then found Erik Highsmith for a 15-yard scoring pass on the next possession to tie the game. Thomas Moore put the Tar Heels ahead to stay with a 22-yard field goal midway through the third, then Bernard -- who tallied his fifth 100-yard rushing game this season -- scored from 1 yard out to make it 45-35 late in the quarter.
While Renner and the Tar Heels heated up, Maryland's offense -- led by converted linebacker Shawn Petty because of a rash of injuries at quarterback -- couldn't sustain any drives or come up with a momentum-killing answer. After racking up 304 yards by halftime, Maryland had 14 plays for minus-7 yards with just one first down in the third quarter.
The Terps managed a field goal to make it a one-possession game with 3:12 left, but the Tar Heels moved the chains behind Bernard to run out the clock and send Maryland into the offseason with six straight losses.
Renner completed 28 of 39 passes for 305 yards for UNC and nearly had his sixth TD pass of the day when he found Davis for what appeared to be a 10-yard score. But officials reviewed the play and determined Davis was down inside the 1, leading to Bernard's short scoring run.
Petty, Maryland's fifth quarterback this year, finished with a career-best 208 yards passing in his fourth straight start.