CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Kurt Benkert passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns to help Virginia beat North Carolina 20-14 on Saturday.
Jordan Ellis rushed for a career-high 136 yards for the Cavaliers (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are off to their best start since 2007. Virginia snapped its seven-game losing streak against North Carolina with its fourth consecutive victory overall.
Chris Peace sacked North Carolina’s Brandon Harris on fourth down with 1:07 left to seal the win.
The Cavaliers took the lead for good on an 81-yard touchdown catch by Olamide Zaccheaus in the third quarter.
Freshman Michael Carter rushed for a season-high 157 yards and two touchdowns for North Carolina (1-6, 0-4). Carter ran for 127 yards and both of his scores in the third quarter as the Tar Heels came back from a 10-0 halftime deficit.
North Carolina lost its fourth straight game despite a change at quarterback.
Chazz Surratt, who had started each of North Carolina’s last five games, did not play. Harris replaced him, completing 7 of 18 passes for 46 yards and three interceptions.
The Tar Heels went scoreless in the first half for the second time in three weeks. They had just four first downs and 75 yards of offense at halftime to go along with five penalties for 46 yards.
Virginia: The Cavaliers banked another win in their quest to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2011. With a tough final month that includes home games against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech as well as trips to Louisville and Miami, Virginia would be well advised to find its sixth win as soon as possible.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels are in big trouble, and their streak of four consecutive seasons with a bowl game is going to end. They have at least one more win on their schedule (Western Carolina on Nov. 18), but the probability of suffering double-digit losses for the first time since 2003 is growing each week.
Virginia: The Cavaliers host Boston College on Saturday in the teams’ first meeting since 2010. Virginia is 0-5 all time against the Eagles.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels travel to No. 15 Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies lead the series 10-3 since 2004.