CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Bryn Renner threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after a goal-line stand preserved North Carolina's lead and the Tar Heels ended Virginia's postseason hopes with a 37-13 victory Thursday night.
The Tar Heels (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) were hanging onto a 20-13 lead when they stopped Kevin Parks for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the 1. They then drove 97 yards in 12 plays, Renner capping the march with a 23-yard pass to a wide open Giovani Bernard over the middle for the TD.
A 5-yard completion to Erik Highsmith on fourth-and-2 came on the play just before the touchdown pass, and after Virginia (4-7, 2-5) was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, Renner's 20-yard TD pass to Highsmith finished it.
The Cavaliers had won two in a row and were hoping to win two more to qualify for a bowl game. They shut down Bernard, the ACC's runaway rushing leader, but were picked apart by Renner's precise passing.
He finished 29 for 36 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target on the night was freshman Quinshad Davis, who caught 15 passes, one shy of the school record, for 174 yards.