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November 17, 2011North Carolina came out gangbusters on defense, as junior Sylvester Williams forced a fumble out of Virginia Tech starting quarterback Logan Thomas on the very first play from scrimmage.
UNC promptly marched 20 yards on three plays, with redshirt freshman Giovani Bernard scoring his ACC-tying 13th touchdown of the season to give the Tar Heels an early 7-0 advantage.
After the Carolina defense stuffed Virginia Tech on a fourth down in UNC territory the Tar Heels marched again and were in position to score a second time, moving inside the Virginia Tech 5 once again.
But a Ryan Houston fumble was recovered by Derrick Hopkins.
From there Tech embarked on a punishing 18 play, 95-yard possession that ate nearly eight minutes off the block and climaxed with a Thomas 11-yard touchdown throw to Chris Drager, tying the game at the 9:18 mark of the second quarter.
Virginia Tech got the ball back after a UNC punt and pushed towards another score, as a 33-yard run by David Wilson set up a field goal that gave the Hokies a 10-7 advantage with just under five minutes left in the first half.
UNC pushed into Hokie territory in the closing minutes of the half, but a 43-yard field goal attempt by Thomas Moore went wide and to the left.
Stay tuned to Tar Heel Illustrated for complete coverage from tonight's game live from Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.