BOONE, NC — Drake Maye looks just like the real thing.
The North Carolina redshirt freshman quarterback continued his strong start to the season, throwing for 352 yards and combining five touchdowns as the Tar Heels beat Appalachian State 63-61 on Saturday. Even though he gave up 40 points to the Mountaineers in a wild fourth quarter.
The younger brother of former Tar Heels basketball star Luke May, May threw a school-record nine touchdown passes in two career starts. He also ran for the score against the Mountaineers.
“He’s a special young man,” said Tar Heels coach Mack Brown. “He’s a great young quarterback and he just keeps getting better.”
Sixth-year quarterback Chase Bryce threw for 376 yards and scored a school-record six touchdowns for Appalachian State (0-1).
The Tar Heels (2-0) wasted a 20-point fourth quarter lead and won despite the Mountaineers gaining 664 yards and scoring nine touchdowns on offense.
But that didn’t dampen Brown’s enthusiasm.
“You go on winning,” said Brown. People who think they’re deaf don’t understand coaching.The excitement of winning against a really good team.”
In the fourth quarter alone, the two teams combined for 62 points and 504 yards. This was his all-time one-point margin in the 4th quarter of an FBS game (Navy vs. North Texas in 2007).
North Carolina appeared to be leading 41-21 after the third quarter, but the Mountaineers took the game back behind Bryce, who led six TD drives in the final quarter.
May showed ageless composure at the first road start.
Tied at 49, he beat an all-out blitz by lofting a pass over center to DJ Jones for a 42-yard touchdown pass to give North Carolina the lead with 2:50 remaining. I was.
“They had brought home several times trying to hit a young quarterback,” May said. “But they forgot about his DJ slipping through the seam. He took care of the rest.”
But the game wasn’t over yet.
Bryce had a 28-yard strike to DeShawn Davis with 31 seconds left on his fifth TD pass of the game. The Mountaineers went for his two-point conversion and the win, but Bryce’s pass sailed just over the back-pedaling Davis’ head.
UNC fans celebrated a clear victory.
But when UNC’s Bryson Nesbit returned an onside kick for a 43-yard touchdown (rather than just going down), it gave the Mountaineers yet another chance to tie the game 63-55. was given.
“Our coach was yelling, ‘Stop, get off,'” Brown said.
Sure enough, Bryce found Kadin Robinson for a 26-yard TD strike with nine seconds left to cut the lead to 63–61.
The Mountaineers scored two but Bryce was stopped short of the end zone.
The Tar Heels scored 34 straight points after falling behind 21-7 to silence a record crowd of 40,168 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. May threw his three TD passes in the first half. 10-yard TD strike to Nesbitt Giving the Tar Heels a 28-21 lead with one second remaining.
May made UNC’s 28th consecutive unanswered point on a 12-yard touchdown run to start the second half, tiptoeing off the sidelines before receiving congratulations from former Tar Heels and current Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell in the end zone. received.
It was the highest score scored in a UNC game since the school began playing football in 1888.
The Tar Heels accomplished the feat of playing without outstanding wide receiver Josh Downs, who was sidelined with a lower body injury.
Arguably the team’s best player, Downs had nine catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns in UNC’s win over Florida A&M, and finished last season with 101 catches for 1,335 yards and eight touchdowns. Leading the ACC with a touchdown.
Brown said it was unclear how long Downs would be out.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.