North Carolina hangs on for 28-25 win against Hurricanes

Baxa's 49-yard FG attempt sails wide left

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North Carolina's Dazz Newsome dives to make a catch in front of Miami's DJ Ivey (8) and Romeo Finley #(30) during the second half at Kenan Stadium on Sept. 07, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 28-25.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sam Howell found Dazz Newsome just inside the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 left to help North Carolina rally past Miami 28-25 on Saturday night.

Howell's perfect throw found Newsome dragging his toes inches from the sideline to cap a stunning clutch drive led by the true freshman. Howell also completed a 20-yard pass to Rontavius Groves on fourth-and-17 to extend the drive, which came after the Tar Heels had surrendered the lead on a Miami touchdown with 4:38 left.

Michael Carter's diving-for-the-pylon 2-point conversion pushed the lead to 28-25, only to see Miami (0-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) drive past midfield to set up a tying field-goal attempt. But Bubba Baxa's 49-yard kick went wide left, sending several Tar Heels players sprinting toward the student section to celebrate even though there were still 5 seconds left.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell drops back to pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Kenan Stadium on Sept. 07, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Howell threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (2-0, 1-0).

THE TAKEAWAY

Miami: The Hurricanes were coming off a loss to No. 11 Florida on Aug. 24, a game that saw them surrender 10 sacks while committing 14 penalties in their first game under Manny Diaz. They were better in both areas Saturday and after a slow start that put them in a 17-3 first-quarter hole, the Hurricanes controlled much of the game and pushed back ahead when Jarren Williams found Will Mallory for an 11-yard score with 4:38 left - only to see the Tar Heels respond with a drive that gave Miami its first 0-2 start since 1978.

UNC: The Tar Heels were coming off a close win against South Carolina in the opener, which provided a jolt of optimism considering they had closed out the kind of close game that they kept giving away a year earlier. This is sure to help that confidence even more under new coach Mack Brown, a Hall of Famer in his second stint with the Tar Heels. Howell was unflappable in the closing moments, sending North Carolina to its first 2-0 start since 2014.

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