Ryan Switzer returned two punt returns for touchdowns and the Tar Heels held off Pittsburgh for a 34-27 victory from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
The Tar Heels attacked the Panthers with physical football on both sides of the ball in the first half building a 24-3 lead on two Marquise Williams touchdowns and the first of two Switzer returns.
After adding a field goal in the third quarter, Pitt rallied all the way back to tie the game at 27-27. Then, Switzer returned a punt 61 yards for the game winning touchdown with 4:46 left in the game.
Williams passed for 179 yards and rushed for 79 yards, scoring two touchdowns on the ground for Carolina.
Eric Ebron caught 3 passes for 73 yards in the game for North Carolina.
Kareem Martin and the Tar Heel pass rush were effective against Pitt quarterback Tom Savage, particularly in the first half. Martin finished the game with 3.5 sacks and the young Tar Heel defense wreaked havoc all day. The Carolina defense knocked Savage out of the game late in the first half but he returned to action later.
With the victory, North Carolina evened their record at 5-5 and need just one more victory to become bowl eligible. They close out the season with home games against Old Dominion and Duke. The win builds the winning streak to 4 games after starting the season 1-5. The Heels move to 4-3 in the Coastal Division of the ACC.
James Connor led the Panthers with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown. Savage passed for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns in the loss.
With the touchdown returns, Switzer became the all time single season leader in punt return touchdowns with 3 on the season.