Marquise Williams runs for daylight during his record-setting night.
KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL UNC had its collective back to the wall when the game with Georgia Tech kicked off Saturday night.
And the Tar Heels' backs were to the wall again with just three minutes to play.
But Marquise Williams proved to be too much for the Yellow Jackets.
Williams completed a UNC record 38 of 47 passes for 390 yards and four TDs with one interception, adding a rushing TD while carrying for 75 yards on 16 totes as the Tar Heels beat the Yellow Jackets 48-43
to break a five-game losing streak in the series.
UNC improved to 3-4 and 1-2, while the Yellow Jackets - who have lost two straight - fell to 5-2 and 2-2. The loss marked the first time since 1994 Tech has lost to both Duke and UNC in the same season.
Ryan Switzer gets a lift from Landon Turner after catching a touchdown pass.
T.J. Logan added a season-high 77 yards and a TD on 14 carries, while Ryan Switzer had a career-high 136 receiving yards and two TDs on a career-high nine catches.
It was a game UNC really had to win to keep its bowl hopes alive, as without the victory the Tar Heels would have had to win five of their last six games to avoid Coach Larry Fedora's first career losing season.
The Tar Heels won despite giving up 611 yards total offense to Tech's oft-mesmerizing option offense, holding the visitors to 69 plays and 31:30 of possession time.
Importantly, at no time in the game did the Yellow Jackets have the lead and the ball. UNC twice led by 11 points, including at 42-31 following Mack Hollins' acrobatic catch at the goal line of a 36-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal.
Georgia Tech got a knockdown punch with 3:07 to play, when DeAndre Smelter ran 75 yards down the right sideline on a reverse to give his team a 43-42 lead.
But Williams and the Tar Heels didn't fold. And they got the winning score on Logan's two-yard run with 11 seconds left, at the end of a 12-play, 75-yard march aided by two Georgia Tech penalties in the red zone.
They said it …
Fedora: "I said (to Williams), '3:07. Three minutes.' And he said, 'We do this every week - it's no big deal.' And he's right. We work two-minute drills every week and we've been doing that since the first day we got here. So he's comfortable with it. ... That was a heck of a game, and a much different locker toom than it has been over the last few weeks."
Tech coach Paul Johnson: "You're still 5-2, so you can have a good season. But we're going to have to play better. Just like I told the guys after the game, we can win the rest of our games or we can lose the rest of our games. That's why you play."
Williams: "When we got the ball back there was 3:07 left and three time outs. I knew we had plenty of time but we just had to keep moving the chains. As a quarterback you just have to get the ball into guys' hands. And I give all the credit to my offensive line for keeping me comfortable."
Logan: "We were definitely on point on that last possession. We knew we had just let them score so we had to make a play. Our running game helped out a lot today because teams don't know if we want to run or pass."
What does it all mean?
That the Tar Heels will go bowling if they win at least three of their last five games.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Williams' touchdown pass to Hollins.
UNC: Won 1.
GT: Lost 2.
Tech leads 28-19-3.
UNC at Virginia, Oct. 25, 12:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh, Oct. 25, 3:30 p.m.