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The Tar Heels followed with their big drive and, when Darius Jennings got behind the secondary and Phillips Sims floated a certain 81-yard touchdown pass into his hands on third-and-13, Jennings juggled and dropped it. The Cavaliers punted, and five plays later, Renner to Highsmith made it 34-13.
The tandem also teamed up on 9-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.
"It's tough," Rocco said of the way the game turned. "It was tough on our defense when we didn't score, and a little bit deflating. Football is like that sometimes. It can change so quickly, and it happened for us today like that."
The Cavaliers squandered several chances, managing only a field goal after Bernard fumbled a punt at his own 12 and Virginia recovered, and Jennings' drop, and then when they came away with nothing near the goal line.
Virginia trailed 14-3 early but closed to 14-10 on a nifty third-down scramble by Sims, who avoided a sack, rolled right and found Jennings in the end zone from 9 yards out. Sims also had a 13-yard run on third-and-9 at the start of the drive, and Parks powered for a yard to convert on fourth-and-1.
The Tar Heels answered by driving to the Cavaliers 15, where Renner was sacked by Brent Urban for an 8-yard loss on third-and-13. Thomas Moore tried a 40-yard field goal, but missed wide right.
Sims' lone series had produced Virginia's lone touchdown to that point, but in Virginia's quarterback rotation that coach Mike London described this week as "random," the coaches sent Rocco back out for the next series, and his first pass was picked off by Tre Boston, who returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
The Tar Heels' first two touchdowns came as Renner picked apart a defense geared to stop the run.
He hit Davis for 25, 10 and 20 yards in a 91-play drive that ended with his 9-yard touchdown pass to Highsmith, and he hit Davis for 32 yards on the next drive. Davis also drew a 15-yard pass interference call when cornerback Demetrious Nicholson latched onto him from behind on a throw to the end zone.
That set up North Carolina at 3, and A.J. Blue ran it in on the next play.
Renner was 19 for 23 in the half for 201 yards, and Davis had 10 catches for 130 yards.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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