Virginia Tech Beats North Carolina 43-41 in Six-Overtime Thriller

Virginia Tech Beats North Carolina 43-41 in Six-Overtime Thriller
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Oct 19, 2019

Virginia Tech and North Carolina put together one of the most insane college football games of the season while making history in the 150th year of college football. It was a wild six overtime game with Virginia Tech using three quarterbacks but in the end, the Hokies had the answer

Virginia Tech beat North Carolina 43-41 in six overtimes, a game that made history as the first to use the new two-point conversion attempt contest after five overtimes, to improve to 5-2 on the season and 2-2 in ACC play while North Carolina fell to 3-4 and 2-2 in ACC play with the loss.

Both teams fought hard in what was a back-and-forth game in regulation followed by matching scores in the first two overtimes. Then, Virginia Tech and North Carolina missed field goals in the third and fourth overtimes, leading to the first ever two-point conversion overtime contest. Both teams failed in the fifth with Quincy Patterson converting after UNC failed to give the Hokies a thrilling 43-41 victory.

Virginia Tech used three different quarterbacks with Hendon Hooker suffering an injury on the final few plays of the first half, and Ryan Willis getting pulled in the third quarter for Quincy Patterson. Overall, the Hokies' offense adapted once Patterson came in and became a run-centric attack with Patterson stepping up while also making a few big passes. Going forward, Patterson should be the backup behind Hendon Hooker.

The rushing attack had one of its best games with 254 yards on the ground and an efficient rushing attack before overtime. The passing game was strong with Hooker while Patterson was also able to make some big passes including to Damon Hazelton who made an 18-yard one-handed reception while being held, a play that deserves SC Top 10 recognition.

Virginia Tech's defense didn't have the best game giving up some big pass plays while struggling to stop the run for much of regulation. However, the Hokies' defense didn't cave in and made some big plays in both halves from starting veterans like Divine Deablo and Rayshard Ashby, freshmen like Norell Pollard, and backups like Khalil Ladler who stopped the 2 two-point conversion in overtimes 5 and 6.

Hooker was very good in the first half going 8-12 for 127 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 41 yards. Meanwhile, Ryan Willis was 3-3 for 55 yards and a touchdown, but the offense struggled with him in the second half leading to a change. Quincy Patterson led a run-centric offense and was productive with throwing 3-6 for 54 yards and a TD while rushing for 122 yards and 1 touchdown on 21 carries including the game-winning two-point conversion.

Deshawn McClease had another strong game on the ground with 72 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries, his fourth-straight game averaging over 4 yards per carry. Tre Turner had a big game leading Virginia Tech's receivers with 5 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Damon Hazelton also stepped up with 3 catches for 43 yards and 2 touchdowns including a one-handed, 18-yard touchdown catch while being held on a fourth down play to extend the game to third overtime.

Rayshard Ashby led the Hokies with 17 tackles including 2 total tackles for loss. Meanwhile, the defensive tackles had big games with Jarrod Hewitt having 2.5 sacks and Norell Pollard having 2 sacks. Additionally, Caleb Farley had 4 pass breakups in the first half, but was unable to play after due to an unknown injury suffered.

Play-By-Play Recap

North Carolina opened the game at their own 25 after a touchback from John Parker Romo. After a first down incompletion, Michael Carter got UNC going with a 28-yard gain to the Virginia Tech 47. Two plays later, Sam Howell found a wide open Dazz Newsome who went right by Jermaine Waller for a 47-yard touchdown to give North Carolina a 7-0 lead with 14:12 to go in the first quarter.

Virginia Tech started their first drive at their own 27 after a 22-yard return by Terius Wheatley. The Hokies had a pair of solid gains on the ground to start to gain a first down, but a fumble by Hendon Hooker was recovered by North Carolina at Virginia Tech's 34 yard line.

After a 3-yard first down carry and second down incompletion, Sam Howell found DeAndre Hollins for a 23-yard gain to set up a first and goal at the VT 8. A UNC false start pushed the Tar Heels back to the 13 with Michael Carter gaining 4 of those yards back on a second down carry. However, Caleb Farley had his second pass breakup in three plays on third down with North Carolina making a short field goal to take a 10-0 lead.

Virginia Tech started this drive by feeding Deshawn McClease who gained 8 yards on his first 2 carries starting at the VT 25 followed by a 3-yard gain from Hendon Hooker to pick up the first down. However, the Hokies' drive stalled out at that point, but Oscar Bradburn had a great punt that Virginia Tech downed at the North Carolina 3.

After a one-yard gain on first down and drop on second down, North Carolina used a HB draw to gain 11 and a first down via Javonte Williams. North Carolina then used a short 8-yard gain on second down and a three-yard Sam Howell carry on third down to get a first down at their 25 followed by another first down via Dyami Brown to the UNC 35 on the next play. A Jermaine Waller defensive holding gave North Carolina a first down at their own 45. Two plays later, Howell found an open Rontavius Groves for an 11-yard gain and a first down. However, Virginia Tech's defense was able to step up and get a stop before UNC reached field goal range with VT getting the ball at their own 20.

Virginia Tech got off to a solid start on this drive with a 3-yard carry by Deshawn McClease followed by a 10-yard gain via a screen pass to Tre Turner. Turner then gained 9 yards on another screen pass on the next play with McClease gaining 3 more yards to pick up the first down. On the next play, Hendon Hooker faked a screen pass to Tayvion Robinson and found a wide open Tre Turner down the field who took it to the house for a 55-yard touchdown to cut the North Carolina lead to 10-7 with 2 seconds left in the first quarter.

UNC started at their own 25 and picked up a first down after a four-yard carry by Michael Carter and 6-yard gain on a jet sweep shovel pass to Dazz Newsome. UNC then reached VT territory with a 17-yard carry by Antonio Williams to the VT 48. However, Virginia Tech's pass rush stepped up and forced North Carolina to punt with Virginia Tech getting the ball at their own 7.

Hendon Hooker opened the drive with a 9-yard gain on the ground followed by a 13-yard gain for a first down at the VT 29. However, Virginia Tech's drive stalled out there with the only gain being a three-yard screen pass to James Mitchell. Oscar Bradburn had a 49-yard punt to give North Carolina the ball at the 19.

North Carolina opened the drive with a 12-yard completion to Dazz Newsome with an offsides on Eli Adams giving UNC five more yards. Two plays later, Howell found Garrett Walston for 12 yards and a first down at the UNC 49. Michael Carter gained 16 two plays later but a spot foul holding made it a 2nd and 4 at the VT 45. Howell found Rontavius Graves though on the next play for a 10-yard gain and a first down. After a one-yard loss, Michael Carter had a big gain to set up a first and goal for North Carolina at the VT 10. On the next play, Howell found Dazz Newsome who took it 10 yards for a touchdown to give UNC a 17-7 lead. After the play, offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called on Divine Deablo and Chamarri Conner for VT, and Dazz Newsome for UNC.

After a UNC touchback, VT opened with a seven-yard gain to Tre Turner followed by a 4-yard carry by Hendon Hooker for a first down. Deshawn McClease picked up 15 yards on the next play to get the Hokies into UNC territory at the UNC 49. Two plays later, Hooker picked up another 10 on a QB rollout turned running play, picking up a first down. A 15-yard pass interference on UNC's Myles Dorn gave Virginia Tech the ball at the UNC 24. After a 2-yard rush by Dalton Keene, Hooker found James Mitchell on a fake screen for a 20-yard gain to set up first and goal at the 2. Deshawn McClease punched it on the next play from two yards out cutting North Carolina's lead to 17-14 with 3:29 left in the first half.

After a John Parker Romo touchback, North Carolina started this possession at their own 25. Jarrod Hewitt nearly had a sack to start, but an intentional grounding was called on the pass, setting up 2nd and 19 at the 16. That penalty set UNC behind the chains with the Tar Heels punting after a 10-yard pass play to Beau Corrales on third down came up 9 yards short. A 38-yard punt by North Carolina gave Virginia Tech the ball at the VT 36 with 2:58 to go in the first half.

Deshawn McClease got the drive going on second down with a 24-yard carry to the UNC 40. Dalton Keene kept it going with an 18-yard catch and run that included running through a UNC defender. Keene gained five more on the ground with a 9-yard hands to the face penalty setting VT up with a first and goal at the 8. Virginia Tech's drive slowed on the next two plays with Hendon Hooker losing 3 on an option play and gaining no yards on the next play. Hooker appeared to be shaken up some on the second play and came out of the game with Ryan Willis coming in for the third down. Willis was able to step up finding Damon Hazelton who made a great play for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Hokies a 21-17 lead with 19 seconds left in the first half.

North Carolina started at their own 25 after another touchback from John Parker Romo. UNC faked that they were going to be aggressive with Michael Carter gaining 5 yards on the ground to end the first half.

Virginia Tech's offense was impressive in the first half averaging 7.2 yards per carry with 244 total yards of offense and only 1 turnover. Part of that was due to a running game that averaged 5.0 yards per carry in the first half while VT had success with their screens, setting up some fake screen passes that the Hokies took advantage of for a 55-yard TD to Tre Turner and 20-yard gain to James Mitchell.

Additionally, the Hokies won the hidden yardage battle with 2 penalties for 16 yards compared to 6 penalties for 49 yards for UNC. Oscar Bradburn also had both of his punts land inside the 20 while UNC's Ben Kiernan averaged under 40 yards per punt with only 1 punt inside the 20.

Hendon Hooker was very good going 8-12 for 127 yards and a touchdown while running for 41 yards. However, Hooker suffered some sort of injury late in the first half with Ryan Willis having to come in for one play, an 11-yard touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton. Tre Turner was the receiving star with 4 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Deshawn McClease had a strong half as well with 7 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown while Dalton Keene had an 18-yard reception and 11 rushing yards.

Caleb Farley was the defensive star of the first half with a career high 4 pass breakups in a strong first half. Devon Hunter led the Hokies with 8 tackles in the first half while Rayshard Ashby had 6 tackles including 1.5 for loss. VT's defense improved in the second quarter as the Hokies were able to find a pass rush, but the Hokies had their defensive issues as UNC averaged 6.8 yards per carry and outgained VT overall 275-244. UNC also was able to find some big pass plays and though Sam Howell was only 11-24, the true freshman QB had 2 touchdowns and 159 passing yards.

With Hooker injured late in the first half, Ryan Willis started the 2nd half with Deshawn McClease gaining 6 to the VT 31 on the first play. However, the Hokies weren't able to do much after with a 3 and out with Bradburn punting it to the UNC 29.

After only gaining 2 yards on the first two plays, Sam Howell scrambled for 9 on third down to pick up the first at the UNC 40 followed by a nine-yard completion to Dazz Newsome. After no gain on second down, UNC gained 2 on third down to pick up a first down at the VT 49. On the next play, Dyami Brown beat Chamarri Conner over the top and gained 43 yards followed by a six-yard touchdown pass from Sam Howell to Rontavius Graves, giving UNC a 24-21 lead over the Hokies with 9:27 to go in the third quarter.

After a UNC touchback, Ryan Willis opened the drive with a 25-yard completion to Tre Turner to get Virginia Tech to midfield. A sack put VT behind the chains with a 2nd and 15 but Deshawn McClease picked up 8 yards to set up a 3rd and 7 at the UNC 47. McClease then turned a short screen pass into a 19-yard gain to give the Hokeis a 1st and 10 at the UNC 28. After two runs for only 1 yard total, Ryan Willis made a major third down mistake not getting rid of the ball with an intentional grounding that pushed VT back to the UNC 39, forcing a punt that ended up being a touchback, giving UNC the ball at the 20.

UNC opened their drive with a three-yard carry by Javonte Williams. However, that was the only positive play as Norell Pollard would pick up a big thid down sack to end UNC's drive. Hezekiah Grimsley had an 9-yard punt return to give Virginia Tech the ball at their own 42.

Virginia Tech brought in Quincy Patterson to start this drive after the struggles of Ryan Willis. Patterson opened with a 5-yard carry followed by a 3-yard gain. Dalton Keene had a first down on his third down carry, but Greg Ross forced a fumble recovered by UNC at their own 43.

The Tar Heels started with a 7-yard gain through the air to Dazz Newsome, getting the Tar Heels to midfield. UNC wasn't able to pick up the first down with a fake punt on a 4th and 2 being stopped as well. However, a questionable unsportsmanlike conduct call against Reggie Floyd pushed Virginia Tech back to their own 34 for the start of their possession.

Deshawn McClease gained 3 yards to start the drive with Patterson scrambling for 12 on third down, setting VT up with a 1st and 10 at their own 49 to start the fourth quarter. Patterson started the fourth quarter with a 2-yard carry into UNC territory followed by a 3-yard carry via Dalton Keene. Patterson converted the 3rd and 5 with a 10-yard carry to the UNC 36. After a 3-yard carry by McClease, Patterson had a great fake handoff to McClease, and ran it for 12 yards and a first at the UNC 22.

Quincy Patterson then found an open Damon Hazelton in the flat who gained 14 yards to set up a first and goal at the UNC 8. On first down, Patterson gained 4 more giving the Hokies a 2nd and goal at the UNC 4. However, UNC read a play action pass well with Patterson suffering a four-yard loss on a sack. A third down jet sweep to Damon Hazelton gained the Hokies 3 yards, but set up a 23-yard field goal from Brian Johnson who tied it at 24 with 9:29 to go.

The Tar Heels started at their own 25 after another touchback from John Parker Romo. Divine Deablo made a great play to start this possession stopping a UNC screen in the backfield for a 3-yard loss. On the next play, Jarrod Hewitt had a big play sacking Sam Howell to set up a 3rd and 19 at the UNC 16 with Sam Howell having a third down incompletion to end the drive. UNC's Brian Kiernan had a solid punt with Hezekiah Grimsley fair catching it at the VT 41.

Quincy Patterson opened this drive with a 3-yard carry followed by another 3-yard gain via Dalton Keene to set up a 3rd and 4 at the VT 47. Patterson was unable to pick up the first down only gaining 2 on the third down option play. Oscar Bradburn's punt had a little too much on it, going for a touchback to give UNC the ball at their own 20.

UNC started with a one-yard gain through the air to Beau Corrales followed by a 11-yard gain to Dazz Newsome. North Carolina found their biggest play right after with a blown coverage leaving Antoine Green extremely wide open, setting up an easy pitch, catch, and run for a 68-yard TD to give UNC a 31-24 lead with 5:11 to go.

Virginia Tech started this drive at their own 25 with a 22-yard completion to Tayvion Robinson. Quincy Patterson then had the biggest play of his collegiate career breaking through for a 53-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 31 with 4:31 to go.

North Carolina started their next drive at the 25 with a five-yard gain to Garrett Walston to start followed by another 4-yard gain to Walston, setting up a 3rd and 1. Virginia Tech's defense stepped up on 3rd and 1 with Divine Deablo and Rayshard Ashby forcing a punt after a 2-yard loss. Hezekiah Grimsley fair caught the North Carolina to give Virginia Tech the ball at the VT 31.

Virginia Tech started this drive with a 7-yard jet sweep by Tre Turner followed by a 2-yard gain from Quincy Patterson. However, a bobbled snap from under center by Patterson led to a 1-yard loss and forced a punt with 45 seconds to go. Oscar Bradburn's punt went for a touchback, giving UNC the ball at their 20 with 38 seconds to go.

North Carolina started with a QB draw with Sam Howell gaining 4 on the play followed by a UNC timeout. Norell Pollard then sacked Howell for a one-yard loss with UNC calling timeout with 21 seconds left ahead of a 3rd and 7 at their own 23. Howell was then tackled for a loss of 3 more yards, leading to a Virginia Tech timeout with 13 seconds to go ahead of a 4th and 10. UNC then called their final timeout ahead of their fourth down punt. UNC's punt gave Virginia Tech time for one final play at the VT 49, but the Hokies decided to take aknee instead, going to overtime.

North Carolina won the coin toss and chose to go on defense, giving Virginia Tech the ball to start overtime. Quincy Patterson found Tre Turner who had Greg Ross, but failed to bring it in on the first play of overtime. Patterson then gained four yards on second down to set up a 3rd and 6 at the 21. The redshirt freshman QB then scrambled on third down but only gained 1, setting up for a 38-yard field goal, which he made to give VT a 34-31 lead.

North Carolina opened with a jet sweep shovel pass to Dazz Newsome who picked up 8 to set up a 2nd and 2 at the 17. The Hokies got pressure on Sam Howell on second down forcing a thrown away pass followed by a false start on UNC to set up a 3rd and 7. North Carolina would then call a timeout after the false start.

The Tar Heels were able to convert though with a 10-yard Javonte Williams carry to set up a 1st and 10 at the 12. Howell then had an incompletion on first down on a pass broken up by Reggie Floyd. Virginia Tech then picked up what was basically a coverage sack via Jarrod Hewitt, setting up 3rd and 11 at the 13. Michael Carter only gained 1 on third down, setting up a 29-yard field goal for UNC's Noah Ruggles. Justin Fuente called a timeout before in an effort to ice the kicker, but Ruggles made the 29-yard field goal to tie it at 34 and force a second overtime.

North Carolina opened the second overtime with a three-yard carry by Michael Carter to the 22-yard line followed by an incompletion from Sam Howell after great coverage from the Hokies. A third down checkdown to Javonte Williams and great blocks by receivers picked up 14 yards, and a first and goal at the 8. Howell had an incompletion on first down for UNC followed by Khalil Ladler breaking up a pass on second down. However, UNC was able to get a touchdown with Sam Howell finding Beau Corrales for an 8-yard touchdown, giving UNC a 41-34 lead.

Virginia Tech started with a pair of Quincy Patterson for a total of 3 yards gained. Patterson then scrambled for another 4 yards to set up a 4th and 3 at the 18. Virginia Tech and North Carolina both called their only timeouts ahead of the fourth down play. The Hokies stepped up as Quincy Patterson threw a perfect pass to Damon Hazelton who made a one-handed touchdown catch while being held with Brian Johnson's extra point tying the game at 41 to force a third overtime.

Virginia Tech started with an incompletion on first down followed by a two-yard loss on a second down speed option carry by Patterson, setting up 3rd and 12 at the 27. Patterson then scrambled away and picked up 4 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal, but Brian Johnson missed it to the left.

UNC started with a four-yard carry by Javonte Williams out of the wildcat followed by no gain by Williams on second down, setting up 3rd and 6 at the 21. UNC then converted the 3rd and 6 with a six-yard completion to Beau Corrales, setting up a 1st and 10 at the 15. A holding penalty pushed UNC back to a 1st and 20 at the 25 with Michael Carter gaining 3 to the 22. Javonte Williams was only able to gain 2 yards, setting up a 3rd and 15 at the 20. Williams gained three more to the 17 on third down, setting up Noah Ruggles for a field goal attempt from 35 yards to win the game. North Carolina called their one timeout before this play followed by a timeout from Justin Fuente. Ruggles was wide right on his field goal attempt from 35 yards, sending this game to a fourth overtime.

North Carolina ran a double reverse to Dazz Newsome on first down for a three-yard gain to the 22 to start the fourth overtime. Sam Howell dodged a sack on second down, but his pass was incomplete, setting up a 3rd and 7 at the 22. Virginia Tech's pressure got to Howell on third down as the UNC QB had to simply throw it away with a delay of game setting up a 44-yard field goal for Noah Ruggles that was blocked by Jermaine Waller, giving the Hokies the ball only needing a field goal to win.

Quincy Patterson opened Virginia Tech's drive with a four-yard carry followed by a one-yard run from Dalton Keene to set up 3rd and 5 at the 20. Doug Nester had a false start on third down to push the Hokies back five yards with Patterson gaining one yard to set up a 42-yard field goal for Brian Johnson. Johnson made his first attempt, but it was waived off after Mack Brown called a timeout right before the snap. After the timeout, Johnson missed the field goal attempt to the right, forcing a fifth overtime, and the first FBS use of the new overtime rules that state that teams get one chance at a 2-point conversion play starting in the fifth overtime.

Virginia Tech went first in the fifth overtime with a Patterson pass to Damon Hazelton being incomplete. Khalil Ladler stuffed the UNC pitch play in the backfield, forcing a sixth overtime.

North Carolina received the first chance in the sixth overtime with Khalil Ladler stuffing Sam Howell's attempt to scramble for the touchdown.