CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)Drake Maye threw for five touchdowns and Antoine Green had a career night with 180 yards receiving as No. 21 North Carolina overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half to defeat Pittsburgh 42-24 on Saturday.
UNC (7-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) is 4-0 in league play for the first time since going 8-0 in 2015. Green, a fifth-year senior, hauled in a pair of touchdowns and set career highs in yards receiving and receptions (10).
The loss was Pitt’s second straight, and the Panthers (4-4, 1-3 ACC) are 1-3 in their last four games after starting 3-1.
UNC went down 24-14 early in the third quarter on the third touchdown of the night by Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda before scoring 28 unanswered points.
The Tar Heels took their first lead on a 2-yard run by Elijah Green less than a minute into the fourth. On the ensuing Pitt drive, Abanikanda lost a fumble at midfield and the Tar Heels capitalized with a 25-yard touchdown reception by Josh Downs a few plays later to take a two-score lead they didn’t relinquish.
Pitt wideout Jared Wayne had a career-best 161 yards receiving as the Panthers relied on big pass plays to power their strong start. But after going up by 10 on its first drive of the second half, Pitt gained only 60 yards on its final four possessions.
Pitt: The Panthers’ game plan looked like a winning formula for the first half and early on in the third quarter before falling apart. Quarterback Kedon Slovis nearly matched his passing total from last week’s loss at Louisville in the first half alone with 157 yards passing. But those big plays were nowhere to be found for much of the second half. On the other side of the ball, Pitt’s defense wore down against Maye and the Tar Heels.
North Carolina: Maye’s stat line (34 completions and 388 yards passing) was once again efficient, and the wideout duo of Greene and Downs showed that teams have to account for multiple weapons in UNC’s passing game.
Pitt: The Panthers return home next Saturday to host No. 16 Syracuse.
UNC: The Tar Heels begin a two-game road swing Saturday at Virginia.
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