by Jacob Swiger
TV/ESPN2 -- Quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Dave Shinskie battled for the title of "quarterback who threw the most interceptions" in Chestnut Hill Saturday. Shinskie won ... but it wasn't a good thing.
UNC and BC combined to toss eight interceptions on the day, but Shinskie's mistakes couldn't come at worse times. After a three-interception performance against Miami, cornerback Kendric Burney picked off a Shinskie pass and returned it for a touchdown to make it 21-0 in the first quarter.
Safety Deunta Williams (pictured) matched Burney's Miami performance with his own three interceptions Saturday, including the game clincher that ended a BC drive late in the fourth, which could have tied the game. Williams returned the interception to the 1-yard line where Ryan Houston twisted into the endzone for his second touchdown of the game.
On BC's second possession of the game, Shinskie was sacked by E.J. Wilson and Cam Thomas returned a fumble for a touchdown to put UNC up two touchdowns. The first score came when running back Ryan Houston scored a touchdown from 1 yard out on UNC's first possession of the game.
The game was essentially won in the first quarter, but a shaky performance by the UNC offense kept the Eagles from getting blown out. BC scored 13 straight points off turnovers before halftime, but couldn't manage to score in the second half because of turnovers and another great performance by one of the nation's best defenses.
Erik Highsmith fumbled after catching a first-down pass after the Heels jumped out to their three-touchdown lead, allowing the Eagles to convert on a 28-yard field goal. Yates then threw an interception on UNC's next play from scrimmage, and BC kicked another field goal to bring the score to 21-6.
The Eagles and Tar Heels traded punts for most of the second quarter before Yates threw his second interception on a fourth down play deep in Eagles' territory. For some reason, coach Butch Davis elected to for it on a fourth-and-long situation instead of kicking a 45-yard field goal.
Shinskie thew for his only touchdown pass on the ensuing possession, bringing the Eagles within eight points before halftime. Neither offense managed to put together a scoring drive in the second half, and UNC's 10 second-half points all came off of turnovers late in the fourth quarter.
Still, the Tar Heels (8-3) won their fourth game in a row, matching last season's win total with two games still left to play. UNC travels to Raleigh next Saturday to avenge a 41-10 beatdown at the hands of the Wolfpack, who have nothing but pride to play for after being eliminated from bowl eligibility in a 43-23 loss to Clemson last weekend.
UNC's offense will have to hang on to the ball if they expect to compete with a prolific Wolfpack offense. Russell Wilson will not gift wrap five interceptions like the Eagles' offense did.