After scoring their third touchdown in the fourth quarter, Duke was now in the lead with a score of 36-33. With only 41 seconds left, Drake Maye encouraged Coach Mack Brown and confidently declared, “I’ve got this, Coach.” The sophomore from Charlotte then proceeded to enter the field.
On the initial play, Maye aimed for tight end Bryson Nesbit. However, Duke’s Brandon Johnson was penalized for interfering with the pass. At the UNC 38-yard line, Maye’s throw was incomplete as he faced pressure from Aeneas Peebles and R.J. Oben. On the following play, Maye completed a pass to Omarion Hampton, who managed to gain five yards. For the crucial third down, Maye once again targeted Hampton. The large player powered through for a gain of 10 yards, bringing the ball to the Duke 46-yard line. Mack Brown called for a timeout with 22 seconds remaining, allowing his offense a brief break.
After the game resumed, Maye successfully passed to Tez Walker for a gain of 8 yards. Walker then stepped out of bounds to halt the clock. From the 38-yard line, Maye made a crucial pass to Nesbit, gaining 13 yards. With only three seconds remaining, Brown used his last time out. Burnette, who had only missed one field goal all season, attempted a 42-yard kick that initially appeared to be going wide right. However, it ultimately curved inside the goal post, tying the game and sending it into overtime.
Due to the high risk and limited time remaining, it could be argued that this was Maye’s most impressive drive in his successful career. However, it was not his only contribution to securing the win.
During the initial drive in the red zone, Maye pulled a clever move by pretending to hand off to Hampton. As the Duke defense focused on stopping a run up the middle, Maye executed a bootleg to the left and easily scored a touchdown. This was similar to a play from the 1970 game, where quarterback Paul Miller kept the ball and scored while All American Don McCauley faked the handoff.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Duke increased their pressure on the quarterback and Maye, while falling, threw the ball with an underhand motion to a teammate in order to prevent a sack. This allowed for Burnette to have a better chance at kicking a field goal.
In the later part of the game, Maye successfully made a pass while being tackled, even on fourth and four. The quarterback managed to locate J.J. Jones, resulting in a gain of six yards and a first down. This left the Duke defender visibly frustrated and hitting his helmet in disappointment.
During his time at Myers Park High School, Maye was recognized for his exceptional basketball skills – he consistently achieved a double double. On occasions at Kenan Stadium, Maye’s experience in basketball has proven useful. In the third quarter, Duke attempted to stop Maye during a planned quarterback run. However, as Maye was being tackled, he spotted Hampton and made a two-hand chest pass to him. This resulted in an additional 15 yards gained by Omarion.
During the second overtime, another play took place in the crucial two-point conversion. Quarterback Maye initially planned to run the ball, but upon reaching the line of scrimmage, he noticed opposing tacklers in his path. He also spotted an unmarked John Copenhaver in the end zone. Maye quickly changed his plan and threw a pass to Copenhaver, earning the two points that ultimately secured their win. Despite being a running play, the Tar Heels were fortunate to not receive a penalty for having a lineman downfield.
During a significant game like this, it was expected that Drake would jump at some point. And indeed, he did. In the third quarter, Maye tried to leap over a Duke defender at the 7 yard line on his way to scoring, but he was tackled at the 5. Maye admitted after the game that he would feel sore the following day.
Carolina relied on Maye’s exceptional skills as Duke put forth a tremendous effort to secure a victory, despite having rookie quarterback Grayson Loftis as their third string player. Coach Mike Elko had intended to gain an advantage by obtaining more opportunities, and the Blue Devils successfully achieved this goal. The Tar Heels even contributed to Duke’s success by assisting in obtaining these additional possessions.
Following Duke’s initial touchdown, they sent the ball far into UNC’s territory. Instead of allowing the ball to reach the end zone, UNC’s Doc Chapman made a mistake by attempting to catch the ball and ultimately failing at the one-yard line. Maye then threw a poor pass from the end zone, resulting in an interception by Jaylen Stinson, who returned the ball to the 14-yard line.
In the first half, UNC had a total yardage of 280 while Duke only had 126. However, just four plays after UNC’s interception, Duke managed to unexpectedly take the lead with a score of 14-13.
Early in the third quarter, UNC held a 19-14 lead until Elko made a significant move. Duke was faced with a 4th & 8 at their own 27, and luck was on their side as they still had possession of the ball after Loftis was tackled by Kaimon Rucker while attempting to pass. The officials ruled it an incomplete pass rather than a fumble recovered by Carolina. Duke then prepared to punt, but kicker Porter Wilson surprised with a pass to Terry Moore for 11 yards, keeping the drive alive. Despite a few good plays by the Tar Heels’ defense, it must be noted that Gene Chizik’s team played well for the first three quarters.
However, once UNC secured a 12-point advantage in the beginning of the fourth quarter, the defense began to unravel.
Loftis was able to regain his momentum after being sacked on the first play of the drive, leading Duke on a 70-yard drive in just 7 plays for a touchdown. The touchdown by Jordan Waters narrowed Carolina’s lead to 26-21.
After that, Elko aggressively attacked. Charlie Hamm kicked an 11-yard kickoff that was dribbled and then quickly recovered by reserve running back Peyton Jones. The UNC defense returned to the field.
On this occasion, the Blue Devils had to cover a distance of 54 yards. Another touchdown by Waters and a two-point conversion granted Duke a 29-26 lead.
UNC’s offense resumed play. The Tar Heels managed to keep possession after Nesbit caught a pass but then lost the ball during a scramble. Although officials ruled that his knee was down while he had possession, the play was not reviewed. Considering that Duke ended up with the ball, it is surprising that the play was not given further attention. Shortly after, Nesbit leaped to catch Maye’s first touchdown pass of the game. With only 1:55 left, UNC was leading 33-29.
During the ACC Network’s morning pre-game show, Mack Brown acknowledged that the University of North Carolina’s defense became fatigued and exhausted in their defeats against Virginia and Georgia Tech. The team’s weariness was evident in Duke’s last offensive push, as the Tar Heels were defending for the majority of the fourth quarter.
Duke’s offense successfully advanced 75 yards in 1:14, ultimately scoring a touchdown on a 30 yard pass from Loftis to Jordan Moore. Moore’s strategic double move allowed him to break free from defenders. This play appeared to secure a victory for Duke.
Unfortunately, the Blue Devils gave Drake Maye 41 seconds, which proved to be too much.
Maye, the game’s top performer, was enthusiastically praised by fans of UNC who stormed onto the field following the team’s unexpected victory. The devoted Tar Heel supporters chanted “one more year” as the quarterback participated in a televised post-game interview on ACCN.
It is highly likely that Maye will leave for the NFL as a highly sought-after draft pick. He declined to participate in Senior Night events and maintains that he has not yet chosen his plans for next year. However, let’s be real, he would be the most impressive quarterback in the draft!
Reworded: However, the game’s second star should be given to Hampton, who had 31 rushing attempts for 169 yards and an impressive 8 receptions for 47 yards. Hampton has surpassed all previous running backs in school history, except for Don McCauley, who set a NCAA record of 1720 rushing yards in the 1970 season.
The inquiry at hand is: How will the ACC competition conclude for the North Carolina squad? As reported by the ACC Network, the Tar Heels are currently the only team with two losses who still have a chance at winning the ACC Championship in Charlotte. While their chances may be low, they are not completely eliminated.
In order for Carolina to be next to Florida State on December 2, a few things must occur.
Initially, the Tar Heels need to secure a victory at Clemson. Clemson has been successful against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in their recent home games.
Next, the team led by Mack Brown will have to face NC State. This team dominated Wake Forest and also defeated Clemson. The atmosphere in West Raleigh, as well as at Clemson, are considered to be some of the most challenging places to play in the ACC, along with Florida State.
Currently, Louisville has the power to determine their own future. The team, with a record of 6-1, will face Miami in their final conference game this weekend. It is uncertain how well Miami will perform after their close defeat against their biggest rival, Florida State. During the last drive of the game, Miami’s promising freshman quarterback, Emory Williams, suffered a serious arm injury. He was replaced by Tyler Van Dyke, who unfortunately threw an interception. If Louisville wins, they will secure a spot in the conference.
If Miami manages to surprise their opponent and Carolina is able to achieve the unlikely feat of winning consecutive games against strong teams in unfriendly territories, the ACC’s tiebreaking protocol would be implemented.
Upon reviewing the process, I have some uncertainties regarding certain aspects. It seems that the trip to Charlotte will be determined by the combined ACC records of the teams from Louisville and North Carolina, or possibly by the win percentage against shared opponents in the order of finish. Based on this, it appears that UNC has slim chances.
However, considering the accomplishments of the Tar Heels on Saturday evening, they should not be disregarded unless/until the ACC officially eliminates them.