Virginia Tech Beats UNC in 43-41 6OT Thriller; 1st Time Using New NCAA OT Rules

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Quincy Patterson II #4 of the Virginia Tech Hokies throws prior to the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

North Carolina and Virginia Tech became the first teams to try out the new two-point conversion overtime rule Saturday in the Hokies' 43-41 win that required six overtimes.

Under the new rule adopted for the 2019 season, both teams line up at the 3-yard line to exchange two-point attempts beginning with the fifth overtime period. Each offense only has one play to convert on the play until possession goes to the other team.

After the Hokies stopped North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell to start the sixth overtime, Virginia Tech quarterback Quincy Patterson II won the game on a keeper:

Prior to the fifth overtime period, both teams had multiple opportunities to win the game. They missed four consecutive field goals starting in the third overtime, with a particularly dizzying sequence of events that set up the two-point conversion showdown:

North Carolina didn't do anything to help kicker Noah Ruggles in the third overtime before he missed a 35-yard field goal that would have won the game:

This is the latest in a string of crushing defeats for the Tar Heels, who could easily be 7-0 at this point if a few things had broken differently in the four games they lost:

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Head coach Mack Brown has carved out a niche in his first season back at North Carolina. His team has played six games decided by no more than six points, including a 21-20 loss to Clemson on a failed two-point conversion and now this defeat using the FBS' new overtime rule.

Virginia Tech has had hits share of close calls in 2019 with four games decided by seven points or less. The team used three quarterbacks in the win because starter Hendon Hooker left just before halftime with an apparent leg injury.

Senior Ryan Willis initially took over for Hooker, going 3-of-3 for 55 yards and one touchdown, but head coach Justin Fuente decided he wanted to use Patterson to finish the game.

Patterson only completed three of six attempts, but he was tremendous as a runner with 122 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries. His lone touchdown pass came on 4th-and-3 in the second overtime after North Carolina took a 41-34 lead.

This was a big win for Fuente's team, which moves to 2-2 in ACC play, tied for second in the Coastal Division with North Carolina and Duke.

The Hokies will go out of conference play in two weeks for a matchup against No. 8 Notre Dame in South Bend. One more victory in their final five games will make them bowl eligible for the 26th straight season.