Complete coverage of North Carolina Football.
ACC helmet stickers: Week 12
North Carolina receiver Ryan Switzer was a game-changer as a punt returner, as he brought back kicks of 65 and 61 yards, the latter breaking a 27-27 tie with 4:46 left in the fourth quarter and helping the Tar Heels escape Pittsburgh with the 34-27 win, their fourth in a row. North Carolina is on the verge of a bowl berth after a 1-5 start, and they have the rookie in large part to thank for that.
What we learned in the ACC: Week 12
UNC keeps rolling. The Tar Heels have won four in a row after racing out to a 27-3 lead versus Pittsburgh, blowing it, then hanging on as Ryan Switzer clinched the win with a 61-yard punt return for a score in the fourth quarter. Marquise Williams continued to impress. The defense sacked Tom Savage seven times, and now all UNC needs to do is beat Old Dominion Saturday to clinch bowl eligibility.
Defensive pressure aids UNC effort
The Panthers scored four times late in the game - once in the third quarter and three times in the fourth - by capitalizing on UNC's inability to make stops to hold an all-game lead for the win. But Switzer's return touchdown and the defense's resiliency in stopping Pittsburgh on its second to last possession of the game gave UNC its fifth win.
Ryan Switzer's big day propels Tar Heels
The 61-yard punt return for the win was Ryan Switzer’s second of the day and third this season, tying the school record for punt returns for a touchdown in a game and breaking the single-season record with three punt returns for touchdowns. Earlier in the game, Switzer fielded a punt and streaked down the sideline for a 65-yard return to give the Tar Heels a 24-3 lead going into halftime.
Larry Fedora Post-Game Quotes
What can you say about Ryan Switzer and his effort today? Larry Fedora: "He did something that’s never been done in the history of North Carolina football. He’s returned three punts for touchdown now, two in this game. He’s a special player. I think Ryan would probably tell you this, too, he’s got 10 guys out there with him that are making it happen."
UNC-Pittsburgh Post Game Notes
North Carolina's seven sacks today are the most since posting seven against ECU in 2012. It is the most in an ACC game since recording 10 vs. Wake Forest in 2000. Of Carolina's 36 touchdowns this season, 28 have been scored by freshmen or sophomores, including all four against Pitt. Sophomore QB Marquise Williams and freshman wide receiver/return man Ryan Switzer each scored twice.
Video: Larry Fedora, Players Post-Pittsburgh Interviews
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, Ryan Switzer and Kareem Martin speak with Jones Angell after Saturday's exciting 34-27 win at Pittsburgh.
Turner's Take: Mister Switzer
Ryan Switzer’s second touchdown return went in the scorebook at 61 yards, but he ran a lot farther than than, pirouetting through defenders, stepping out of tackles and stopping and going before bouncing out and giving the Tar Heels the game-winning score. “I just tried to make a play for my team, and that’s what happened,” he said. With that play, Switzer set a pair of school records.
UNC's Defense Making Plays
While the defense wasn’t flawless in North Carolina’s 34-27 win over Pitt, the Tar Heels wreaked havoc for much of the game and made a critical 4th-and-1 stop with 1:10 to play to secure a fourth-straight victory. UNC sacked Pitt quarterback Tom Savage seven times on Saturday at Heinz Field. Kareem Martin continued his beast mode of late, registering eight tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Video: North Carolina-Pittsburgh Game Highlights
View complete game highlights from North Carolina's 34-27 ACC road win over the Pitt Panthers at Heinz Field Saturday.
'Switz' in the Clutch
Ryan Switzer followed a wall of blockers for his first punt return for touchdown on Saturday. With the game tied at 27-all with under five minutes to play, the freshman zigged and zagged his way for a game-winning 61-yard punt return for touchdown. “I wasn’t going to fair catch that one,” Switzer said.
Recap & Analysis: UNC 34 Pitt 27
In what could rightfully be called a "game of runs," North Carolina raced out to a 24-3 halftime lead but needed a Ryan Switzer punt return for a touchdown sandwiched between two defensive stands to pull out a 34-27 win. It is the fourth straight win for the Tar Heels who are now 5-5 after a disastrous 1-5 start.
Storify: North Carolina 34, Pitt 27
North Carolina football traveled to Heinz Field to take on the University of Pittsburgh. The Tar Heels leave with a 34-27 win. Ryan Switzer and UNC's special teams were game changers in the victory. The Tar Heels are now 5-5.
Lucas: Rapid Reactions
Kareem Martin started the season slowly, but after an incredible 3.5 sack performance at Pitt, he now has nine sacks for the season, which puts him tied for eighth on the UNC single-season sack list with William Fuller and Greg Ellis. One more sack over the final two games would make him only the seventh Tar Heel in history with double-digit sacks.
Ryan Switzer logs two punt return touchdowns, breaks school record
After seeing multiple long touchdowns called back on penalties earlier in the season, UNC's freshman speedster Ryan Switzer returned not one but two punts for touchdowns against Pittsburgh on Saturday, giving him three return touchdowns in the past two weeks. In other words, in just four halves of football, Switzer set the school's single-season record for punt return TDs.