Virginia Tech drove 98 yards on its final drive, scoring on a 1-yard pass from Ryan Willis to tight end Dalton Keene with 19 seconds to play to beat host North Carolina 22-19 on Saturday night at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Virginia Tech used 18 plays on the winning drive, converting three third downs and one fourth down. A two-point conversion pass accounted for the final margin.
After recovering a fumble, the Hokies (4-2 overall, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took over with 6:13 remaining and trailing 22-19. Willis scrambled for 12 yards on fourth-and-9 reaching the North Carolina 28 for perhaps the biggest play of the drive.
Quarterback Nathan Elliott, playing as a reserve for the first time this season, threw a touchdown pass for North Carolina (1-4, 1-2).
Tar Heels quarterback Cade Fortin, a freshman making his first career start, went out with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter when he was hurt after scrambling to the Virginia Tech 5.
Willis, in his third start with the Hokies, was 20 for 36 for 221 yards through the air. He also rushed 15 times for 88 yards.
North Carolina running back Michael Carter gained 165 yards on 18 carries.
Elliott lofted a 3-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Ratliff-Williams on the team's first possession of the second half to stretch the Tar Heels' lead to 16-7.
The Hokies countered when Willis tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Sean Savoy, who knocked a defender out of the way on his route to the end zone, to make it 16-14. Virginia Tech converted on three third downs on that drive.
North Carolina kicker Freeman Jones, who made four field goals, missed from 32 yards on the following drive to leave the score at 16-14.
Virginia Tech threatened to go ahead in the final minute of the third quarter but Willis was intercepted at the North Carolina 3 by J.K. Britt, who returned the ball to the Tar Heels' 20.
Jones made it 19-14 with a 35-yard field goal with 9:59 left.
After a Virginia Tech punt, Elliott found tight end Carl Tucker for 80 yards on a third-and-15 play from the North Carolina 7. The Tar Heels moved the ball to the Hokies 1-yard line but a fumble set up Virginia Tech for its long, winning drive.
Earlier, Willis ran through an open field for a 33-yard touchdown to open the scoring just 1:55 into the game. North Carolina running back Antonio Williams fumbled on the game's first snap to set that drive up.
On their next possession, the Tar Heels got on the board with Jones' 33-yard field goal that was set up by Carter's 49-yard run.
The Tar Heels had a chance to go ahead midway through the second quarter, but Jones' field-goal attempt from 43 yards was wide left. Jones was also good from 22 yards out for a 9-7 lead with 49 seconds to play in the first half.
--Field Level Media