CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Gio Bernard returned a punt 74 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds left, helping North Carolina stun rival North Carolina State 43-35 to end a five-year losing streak in the series.

Bernard's punt return capped a huge day for the sophomore tailback, who ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He also had eight catches for 95 yards to lead the Tar Heels (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed 35-25 entering the final period in a back-and-forth game that lived up to the rivalry hype.

North Carolina hadn't beaten the Wolfpack (5-3, 2-2) since Tom O'Brien took over in Raleigh in 2007, but finally halted that skid under first-year coach Larry Fedora.

Mike Glennon threw for a career-high 467 yards and five touchdowns to lead N.C. State, which led 35-25 on Glennon's 55-yard pass to Bryan Underwood with 39 seconds left in the third quarter.

N.C. State entered the afternoon with two straight wins — including an upset of then-No. 3 Florida State on Oct. 6 — that had put the Wolfpack in control of its own destiny in the ACC's Atlantic Division. Instead, the Tar Heels, who are banned from a bowl for NCAA violations, knocked their rivals back in the league race with a stunning finish after blowing their own big lead.

STORY CONTINUNES BELOW

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  • Jordan Reed, Jarvis Jones, Sanders Commings

    Florida tight end Jordan Reed, center, fumbles the ball as he is hit Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, left, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings (19) recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchback. Georgia won the game 17-9. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Anthony Rashad White, Marcus Rush, Montee Ball

    Michigan State's Anthony Rashad White (98) and Marcus Rush (44) chase Wisconsin running back Montee Ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Madison, Wis. Michigan State won 16-13 in overtime. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

  • Spirit

    Auburn mascot Spirit, a Bald Eagle, flies over the stadium before an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

  • Alex Carter, Dominique Williams

    Washington State wide receiver Dominique Williams (80) makes a 43-yard catch next to Stanford cornerback Alex Carter during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Mike Evans, Demetruce McNeal

    Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans (13) stiff-arms Auburn defensive back Demetruce McNeal (12) as he tries to reach the first-down marker during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

  • Aaron Murray

    Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) celebrates with fans after defeating Florida 17-9 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Jon Halapio

    Florida offensive linesman Jon Halapio (67) react at the end of the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia beat Florida 17-9. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

  • University of Alabama student Jaden Rountree of Ocean Springs, Miss., sits bundled in a crimson blanket as she waits to help people outside Bryant-Denny Stadium prior to a NCAA college football game between Mississippi State and Alabama at in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Temperatures dipped into the low 50's after a cold front moved through the state.(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

  • Jawan Jamison, Luke Wollet

    Rutgers' Jawan Jamison (23) is grabbed by Kent State's Luke Wollet (39) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Kent State upset No. 18 35-23. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

  • Michigan State players celebrate after defeating Wisconsin 16-13 in overtime in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

  • Grant Hedrick, Mike Purcell

    Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick runs for a touchdown past Wyoming defender Mike Purcell during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo. Boise State won 45-14. (AP Photo/Michael Smith)

  • Sylvester Williams

    North Carolina's Sylvester Williams (92) flexes his muscles after dropping North Carolina State's James Washington for a 3-yard loss in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Penn State kicks off to Ohio State before the start of an NCAA college football game at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Braxton Miller, Mike Hull

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is sacked by Penn State linebacker Mike Hull (43) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Penn State in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Charlie Hegedus

    North Carolina State wide receiver Charlie Hegedus (84) scores a touchdown on 32-yard pass reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton (27) makes an interception on a pass intended for Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter (11) late in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. The South Carolina won 38-35. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Brimer)

  • Michigan State players celebrate after defeating Wisconsin 16-13 in overtime in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

  • Tyler Tettleton, Wes Williams

    Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton (4) is sacked by Miami (Ohio) defensive lineman Wes Williams (9) on the final play of their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Oxford, Ohio. Miami (Ohio) upset Ohio 23-20. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • Kelvin Benjamin

    Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin celebrates his punt return for a touchdown against Duke in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won the game 48-7. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

  • Demarcus Lawrence, Brett Smith

    Boise State defender Demarcus Lawrence (8) celebrates after sacking Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo. Boise State won 45-14. (AP Photo/Michael Smith)

  • Tramaine Thompson

    Kansas State wide receiver Tramaine Thompson (86) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

  • North Carolina's Giovani Bernard (26) breaks away from N.C. State's Will Baumann (36) as he races in front of the Wolfpack bench during a 74-yard punt return to score the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter of North Carolina's 43-35 victory in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • A fan is tossed in the air after SMU scored against Memphis during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Dallas. SMU won 44-13. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Giovani Bernard

    North Carolina's Giovani Bernard (26) stiff-arms North Carolina State's Rickey Dowdy (34) on a 38-yard run during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Elisha Olabode, Joseph Randle

    TCU safety Elisha Olabode, right, tackles Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle, left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

  • Kenjon Barner, Axel McQuaw

    Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, front, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Axel McQuaw during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 2 Oregon defeated Colorado 70-14. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

  • UCLA players celebrates their 45-43 win over Arizona State at mid field after their NCAA College football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Collin Klein, Curry Sexton, Tyson Williams

    Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein (7) celebrates a touchdown with teammates Curry Sexton (14) and Tyson Williams, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

  • Bryan Bennett, Jered Bell

    Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett, left, is tripped up by Colorado defender Jered Bell during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Oregon won 70-14.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

  • Samuel Ukwuachu, Brett Smith

    Boise State's Samuel Ukwuachu dives after Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith during second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo. (AP Photo/Michael Smith)

  • Nick Lamaison

    UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison prepares to pass against Houston in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  • Giovani Bernard

    North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard (26) returns a punt 74 yards for a touchdown in the closing moments of North Carolina's 43-35 victory over North Carolina State in an NCAA college football game at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Tobias Palmer

    North Carolina State wide receiver Tobais Palmer (4) sits on the bench after North Carolina's 43-35 victory in an NCAA college football game at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Luke Kelly, Tyler Tettleton

    Miami (Ohio) defensive lineman Luke Kelly (36) loses his helmet as he sacks Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton (4) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

  • North Carolina wide receiver Erik Highsmith (88) pulls in a long reception as North Carolina State safety Earl Wolff (27) and Juston Burris (11) defend during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman)

  • Matt Brakley Barkley, Silas Redd

    Southern California's starting quarterback Matt Barkley (7) hands the ball off to Silas Redd (25) in the backfield during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Miller)

  • Chip

    Colorado's mascot Chip, a buffalo, sits on the sideline with head in hands after an Oregon touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

  • Missouri v Kentucky

    Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson returns a fumble 60 yards during the first quarter against Kentucky in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. Sweat recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee,) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

  • Daryle Hawkins, Ray Polk

    Oregon receiver Daryle Hawkins dives in for a touchdown as Colorado defender Ray Polk loses his helmet during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

  • Braxton Miller

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (5) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Penn State in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jeff Scott, Keith Lewis

    Mississippi running back Jeff Scott (3) is lifted by teammate linebacker Keith Lewis after Mississippi's 30-27 victory over Arkansas in an NCAA college football game in Little Rock, Ark., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

  • Jim Mora Jr., Ellis McCarthy

    UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr. adjusts the pads of defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy during the first half of an NCAA College football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Mychal Rivera, DeVonte Holloman

    Tennesse tight end Mychal Rivera catches a pass in front of South Carolina's DeVonte Holloman during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

  • Kenny Miles

    South Carolina running back Kenny Miles (31) breaks ahead of the Tennessee defense for long gain during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 38-35. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

  • Solomon Patton, Shawn Williams

    Florida wide receiver Solomon Patton is tackled around the neck by Georgia safety Shawn Williams during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Gainesville, Fla. Williams was injured on the play.(AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

  • David Ash

    Texas quarterback David Ash (14) calls out instructions to his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

  • A Penn State fan wears a T-shirt referring to the NCAA sanctions prohibiting Penn State and Ohio State from playing in a bowl game this year, before an NCAA college football game between the two teams in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Steve Beauharnais

    Rutgers' Steve Beauharnais (42) practices a drill during pre game warm ups before the start of an NCAA college football game against Kent State in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

  • Bo Cisek, Matt Frazier, Demetrius Dugar

    Northwestern defensive line Bo Cisek (1), offensive line Matt Frazier (57) and cornerback Demetrius Dugar (22) celebrate with teammates after Northwestern defeated Iowa 28-17 in an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Keenan Davis, Daniel Jones

    Northwestern cornerback Daniel Jones, bottom, breaks up a pass intended for Iowa wide receiver Keenan Davis during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chase Rettig

    Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig looks to pass in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


After leading 25-7 late in the first quarter, the Tar Heels tied the game at 35 on Casey Barth's 34-yard field goal with 1:24 left, then forced the Wolfpack to punt with about 30 seconds left. Bernard — who had injured his right ankle on a catch early in the second half — fielded the punt inside his own 30, then started running to his right where his blockers had set up a wall. Bernard broke free down the right sideline in front of the Wolfpack bench, scampering into the end zone to set up off a wild celebration in Kenan Stadium's blue-filled end zone.


UNC punter Tommy Hibbard then managed to complete his second two-point conversion pass of the day to Jack Tabb to push the lead to 43-35. And when Tobais Palmer fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Tar Heels were finally in position to celebrate.


Bryn Renner took a knee to end it, and the UNC players soon started jumping into the front row of the student section near the tunnel to celebrate before heading into the locker room.


Renner threw for 358 yards and a touchdown, while Erik Highsmith also ran for a touchdown on a 45-yard reverse on UNC's second possession.


Bryan Underwood had six catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack, who held the Tar Heels scoreless from late in the first quarter until Renner's 3-yard scoring toss to Sean Tapley made it 35-32 with 10:23 left in the game.