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Kicked out


Associated Press
Published October 31, 2004

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina might have kicked Miami out of the national title race.

Connor Barth converted a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the game, giving North Carolina a 31-28 upset of the fourth-ranked Hurricanes on Saturday night.

When Miami called a timeout before the kick, fans began lining the hedges just outside the sidelines in preparation for the celebration. The ball flew just inside the left upright, and soon the field was covered with people, celebrating North Carolina's first win over a Top 5 opponent. Both goal posts went down within minutes of Barth's field goal.

Darian Durant led the Tar Heels on a 65-yard drive for the winning points, completing all four passes and getting the final 5 yards on a keeper up the middle. He finished 21-of-29 for 266 yards and two touchdowns, and Chad Scott overcame an injured hip to rush for a career-high 175 yards.

Miami trailed by seven with 5:24 left, but Brock Berlin drove his team 89 yards to tie. Devin Hester went in on a sweep from the 4, setting up the final possession for Durant and North Carolina.

Berlin was 20-for-35 for 338 yards and two touchdowns, but the Hurricanes had only 77 yards rushing, the first time all season they failed to reach 100.

They showed signs of faltering in recent weeks, despite winning their first six games for the fourth straight season. In the previous two games, they allowed a total of 947 yards in victories over Louisville and North Carolina State.

The Tar Heels took the opening kickoff and drove 57 yards in only four plays to take a 7-0 lead on Durant's 35-yard scoring toss to Mike Mason. In the first half, North Carolina had 351 yards of total offense.

Berlin, who had 11 touchdown passes in the past three games, started fast again, going 7-of-9 for 131 yards and two TDs in the first quarter. But the Hurricanes abandoned the passing game and tried to establish the run, which didn't work. Tyrone Moss led the ground game with 30 yards on eight carries, and leading rusher Frank Gore had only 27.

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