Rutgers comes up short to North Carolina 24-22
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)
The fact the Scarlet Knights struggled to put points on the scoreboard after a number of those turnovers helped ensure the Tar Heels earned a 24-22 win.
Rutgers scored a touchdown and kicked two field goals off three of the North Carolina turnovers. But the Scarlet Knights failed to score on the other two, including one where they started a drive on UNC's 2-yard line.
''We need to be able to take advantage of those situations a little bit,'' Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said.
Giovani Bernard rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns, scoring on runs of 60 and 6 yards for the Tar Heels (2-0).
North Carolina won with five turnovers for the first time since 1995. Rutgers (1-1) had no turnovers but totaled just 1 yard rushing.
The Scarlet Knights lost the ball on downs at their own 42 with 2:32 remaining, and the Tar Heels ran out the clock from there.
''We had opportunities to win, and we just didn't take them,'' Schiano said. ''That's why you play games.''
One of the few times Sanu failed to come down with the football when it was thrown his way was after Rutgers' Duron Harmon intercepted a Renner pass and almost returned it for a touchdown. On first down from the UNC 2, Dodd lofted a pass to Sanu, who was wide open.
But Sanu got turned around and failed to make the play. UNC stuffed Rutgers on three consecutive runs after that.
The Scarlet Knights kicked themselves after the game about that sequence.
''It's very frustrating,'' Sanu said. ''It's a struggle we've got to learn from. We've just got to come back and play harder.''
Bernard showed his speed to the outside on both of his scoring runs.
Midway through the second quarter, the UNC running back took a toss to the right and outran Rutgers' Steve Beauharnais to the corner. Bernard cut back to the middle of the field to elude a tackle by David Rowe, then sprinted away from the pursuit to give the Tar Heels a 14-6 lead.
On his scoring run late in the third quarter, Bernard bounced an inside run toward the left sideline. He gave ground to step out of a tackle by Rutgers' Brandon Jones, and beat Beauharnais again - this time around the corner to extend North Carolina's lead to 24-15.
The Scarlet Knights pulled within 24-22 on a 5-yard touchdown catch by Tim Wright with 10:40 remaining.