As in last week's theft from Georgia Tech, the Hokies (3-1, 2-0 ACC) received and needed plenty of help in the form of opponent penalties — the 14 flags were the most against North Carolina since 2001.
Moreover, the Tar Heels lost quarterback T.J. Yates to a sprained ankle when Martin sacked him from behind for an 18-yard loss early in the third quarter.
Does North Carolina (2-1, 0-1) win if Yates doesn't get hurt? Probably.
Redshirt freshman backup Mike Paulus, brother of Duke basketball player Greg Paulus, had thrown one pass as a collegian. Saturday he threw two interceptions.
But give the Hokies credit. After their ghastly first half, they pounced on every opportunity and loose ball.
After yielding a 32-yard touchdown pass and 50-yard scoring run, the defense forced turnovers on three of the Tar Heels' last four possessions. The exception was a three-and-out.
"The way we just fought back, it's unbelievable," tailback Darren Evans said.
Evans rushed for 32 yards on the Hokies' penultimate series, when they moved from their own 2 to Carolina's 39 and milked 3:44 off the clock.
"We've been waiting for that moment," Beamer said. "We know we're gonna run. They know we're gonna run. Let's block people and get first downs."
Also on that drive, Glennon rushed onto the field when Taylor rolled an ankle and completed a 16-yard pass to freshman Danny Coale.
Talk about aces in the hole. When Yates limped off, the Tar Heels turned to a rookie. When Taylor got nicked, Tech turned to a fifth-year senior who's attempted more than 500 passes as a collegian and was the MVP of last season's ACC title game.
"I've got to be ready at any time," Glennon said.
Time is now the Hokies' friend. With upcoming games against Nebraska and Western Kentucky, they take a break from conference rigors that should make them better come the heart of the schedule.
Can this band of bandits contend for a second consecutive ACC title? Beats me, but they sure are daring, interesting and entertaining.
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or at email@example.com. For more from Teel read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime
Just call this one a great escape for Tech
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.