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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tar Heels get a late reprieve, then Barth's kick beats Tennessee in Nashville

Posted by on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 11:00 PM

TV/ESPN—Casey Barth hit a last-second 40-yard field goal to force overtime, and then connected with a chip shot in the second overtime as UNC topped Tennessee 30-27 in the Music City Bowl on Thursday night.

UNC kicker Casey Barth
  • Photo courtesy UNC athletics
  • UNC kicker Casey Barth
The Tar Heels had to go only 12 ½ yards on their first overtime possession, as a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the tying kick was assessed to start extra play.

T.J. Yates went in from a yard out and Barth added the try for a 27-20 lead, before Tennessee’s Tyler Bray helped tie it with his fourth TD pass of the night — a 20-yard connection to Luke Stocker with Chad Cunningham adding the boot.

Tennessee’s next possession ended when Quan Sturdivant picked off a Bray pass, and then Barth nailed the 23-yarder to end it.

It was a nip-and-tuck game throughout.

UNC got onto the board first on Shaun Draughn’s 58-yard field goal just 3:20 into the game, with Barth adding the kick.

Bray then had his first touchdown pass with 2:51 left in the first, connecting with Gerald Jones from 29 yards out with Chad Cunningham adding the kick.

Barth’s 28-yard field goal put the Tar Heels ahead 10-7 early in the second before a wild final couple of minutes to end the half. Bray hit Da’Rick Rogers for a 40-yard score with Cunningham adding the boot with 1:58 left in the period, but Yates answered with a 39-yarder to Erik Highsmith with 40 seconds left in the half to put UNC up 17-14.

That ended the scoring until the game’s final 5:22, when Bray connected with Justin Hunter from nine yards out and Cunningham adding the boot to set up Barth’s late heroics.

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