First Virginia knocked Jacory Harris from a scoreless game, then it dashed No. 22 Miami’s hopes for the ACC Coastal Division title.
Keith Payne ran for two touchdowns and the Cavaliers tied a school record with five interceptions — four against Harris’s backups — in a 24-19 upset yesterday in Charlottesville, Va.
“When you chop the head off a giant, the rest of the body goes with it,’’ said defensive tackle John-Kevin Dolce, who squared up Harris’s chest just as he released a pass, sending him airborne.
Harris’s head appeared to hit the turf first and he remained down for four minutes.
“Jacory was their leader and what changed the game was taking him out,’’ Dolce said.
Chase Minnifield intercepted the pass; there was no flag on the play.
Harris eventually rose to cheers and was helped to the locker room. He did not return, and Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon said he had no information on Harris’s condition.
The impact was felt on both sidelines.
“We let our brother get hurt,’’ center Tyler Horn said. “There’s no worse feeling than seeing that and knowing that’s because of the offensive line, that’s because of us.’’
Virginia (4-4, 1-3), which had lost nine straight ACC games, went ahead, 24-0, in the fourth quarter before the Hurricanes mounted a comeback behind freshman Stephen Morris. Making his first appearance, Morris hit Leonard Hankerson with a 29-yard scoring pass with 10:34 to play, then ran 9 yards for a touchdown with 4:54 remaining.
Miami (5-3, 3-2) recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Travis Benjamin caught a deep pass, spun free from cornerback Mike Parker, and raced 60 yards to make it 24-19 with 4:39 left.
That was plenty of time for Miami to kick off, hold on defense, and try to win it. But Virginia quarterback Marc Verica hit Matt Snyder for 6 yards on third and 3 from the 27, then connected with Kris Burd for 20 yards on third and 7 from the 35, allowing the Cavaliers to run out the clock.
North Carolina 21, William & Mary 17 — Johnny White’s 67-yard touchdown run with 5:27 to play capped the Tar Heels’ rally from 10 points down in the fourth quarter in Chapel Hill, N.C.
White finished with a career-high 164 yards for North Carolina (5-3), which snapped the Tribe’s six-game winning streak. After a lethargic first three quarters against a Championship Subdivision opponent, the Tar Heels finally got rolling in time to avoid being upset by a former teammate.
T.J. Yates was 23 of 33 for 238 yards, with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 3-yard TD pass to Ryan Taylor.
Mike Paulus — Yates’s former backup — nearly led William & Mary to the win. He finished 24 of 35 for 209 yards and touchdowns of 6 and 9 yards to Chase Hill for the Tribe (6-2).
Maryland 62, Wake Forest 14 — At College Park, Md., Danny O’Brien threw a career-high four touchdown passes, Kenny Tate and Ryan Donohue each scored on interception returns, and the Terrapins rolled past the Demon Deacons.
Maryland (6-2, 3-1) scored on its first four possessions and blocked two punts in taking a 27-7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Tate and Donohue sandwiched their scores around a touchdown pass by O’Brien to hand Wake Forest (2-6, 1-4) its sixth straight defeat.
It was Maryland’s most lopsided ACC win since a 59-7 rout of North Carolina in 2002, and the 62 points tied the school record for a conference game, set in 1975 in a 62-24 win over Virginia.
Duke 34, Navy 31 — Sean Renfree passed for 314 yards, threw for a touchdown, and ran for two more scores, and the Blue Devils nearly blew a 24-point lead before beating the Midshipmen in Annapolis, Md.
Duke (2-6), which snapped a six-game losing streak, led, 34-15, with 8:48 left after a 40-yard field goal by Will Snyderwine. Navy (5-3) closed to 34-31 with 2:34 to play when Ricky Dobbs hit Aaron Santiago with a 12-yard touchdown pass, then found Santiago again for the 2-point conversion. The Midshipmen scored three touchdowns and converted three 2-point conversions in a 12-minute stretch of the fourth quarter.
Navy’s hope for a complete comeback, however, ended when it turned the ball over on downs with six seconds to play.