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North Carolina routs Rutgers, 44-12

September 12, 2008|From the Associated Press

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes and the Tar Heels won for the first time outside North Carolina since 2002, beating error-prone Rutgers, 44-12, in a nationally televised game that pitted North Carolina Coach Butch Davis against his former pupil, Greg Schiano.

Yates found a wide-open Hakeem Nicks on touchdown passes of nine and 11 yards and connected on a 69-yard scoring play with speedster Brandon Tate, who also scored on a 12-yard end around.

The Tar Heels intercepted four passes and linebacker Bruce Carter returned a bobbled pass 66 yards for a touchdown as the Tar Heels (2-0) handed Rutgers (0-2) its worst defeat since a 56-5 loss to Louisville on Nov. 11, 2005. Freshman kicker Jay Wooten had field goals of 43, 29 and 27 yards.

The victory was the Tar Heels' biggest since a 52-17 win over Duke in 2001.

The start is the best since 2000 for North Carolina, which is looking for its first winning season since 2001. The Tar Heels were 4-8 a year ago in Davis' first season.

The start is the worst for the Scarlet Knights since 2002, when they finished 1-11 in Schiano's second season.

In many ways, the Scarlet Knights looked like the Rutgers of old. They blew pass coverages on all three of Yates' touchdown passes, had a bad punt lead to a North Carolina score and their senior quarterback had three turnovers.

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