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ATLANTIC COAST ROUNDUP : Reserve Leads North Carolina Past Duke

November 20, 1994|From Associated Press

Three weeks ago, Mike Thomas was languishing on the bench as North Carolina's backup quarterback, having thrown only 18 passes all season.

But Thomas, subbing for injured starter Jason Stanicek for the second consecutive week, shook off two months of rustiness Saturday to pull off another successful finish against No. 24 Duke, connecting with Octavus Barnes on a 71-yard scoring pass play with 2:01 left in a 41-40 victory.

"It's great to be involved in any win," Thomas said. "It's just great to be involved with this football team, period. There is a lot of heart and fire. There was a lot of pride and bragging rights on the line today."

It marked the 11th consecutive time the Tar Heels, 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the Atlantic Coat Conference, have won when both teams entered the game with winning records.

The loss was painful for Duke (8-3, 5-3), which started the season 7-0 but failed to gain its first nine-victory season since the 1941 Rose Bowl team.

Duke lost each of its last two games by one point.

The Blue Devils appeared to have won when Spence Fischer, who completed 33 of 57 passes for 395 yards--all career highs--connected with Corey Thomas with two touchdown pass plays in a 4 1/2-minute span late in the fourth quarter. The first came after Duke blocked a punt with North Carolina leading, 34-24.

Thomas, however, needed only 46 seconds to move the Tar Heels 85 yards for the winning score. Barnes caught the winning pass over the middle about 15 yards downfield, ran to the outside and down the right sideline, and avoided a final Duke defender and the sideline before racing into the end zone.

No. 16 Virginia 42, No. 14 Virginia Tech 23--The Cavaliers intercepted five passes off Maurice DeShazo and recovered three of the Hokies' four fumbles at Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia turned six of the turnovers into 29 points on the way to their highest point total against the Hokies since a 42-0 victory in 1952.

Joe Crocker led the Cavaliers with two interceptions, and Virginia, which came in with the nation's top rushing defense, allowing only 58.6 yards per game, held the Hokies to 33. Virginia Tech's 17 rushes represented its lowest total ever.

Playing in front of scouts from the Fiesta, Gator, Peach, Carquest and Independence bowls, Virginia (8-2) kept itself in contention for a coalition berth. The Cavaliers also accomplished one of their preseason goals: win more than seven games, something they had been unable to do in the last two years.

Rafael Garcia kicked a school-record five field goals--from 28, 43, 37, 50 and 22 yards--as Virginia ended the Hokies' 11-game home winning streak.

Virginia turned two turnovers by Virginia Tech (8-3) into nine points on the way to a 19-13 halftime lead.

The Cavaliers added two field goals in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 25-16, and blew the game open by scoring 17 points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter.

South Carolina 33, Clemson 7--Brandon Bennett rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' biggest victory against their archrivals at Clemson.

Steve Taneyhill threw for 226 yards and an 18-yard touchdown to Toby Cates as South Carolina (6-5) qualified for its first bowl trip since 1988.

Clemson (5-6), which had won its three previous games, was limited to 177 yards overall and 122 yards rushing. The Tigers, 9-3 a year ago, ended with their second losing season in three years.

Wake Forest 20, Georgia Tech 13--Freshman Herman Lewis ran for 149 yards, including a 27-yard scoring run, as the Demon Deacons took advantage of six Yellow Jacket turnovers to upset Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The Demon Deacons (3-8, 1-7) ended a five-game losing streak. It was the eighth loss in a row for the Yellow Jackets (1-9, 0-8).

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