Despite being favored to win by two scores, every time they held a lead by double digits, they allowed the Devils to strike back into the game. UNC escaped what would have been a nightmare double-overtime loss, and the hero was not who UNC fans predicted before the game started.
It was not the Tar Heel defense or Drake Maye arm. Instead, it was kicker Noah Burnette who went 6 for 6 in field goals, like Michael Jordan’s finals record. What made the performance so special, is that Burnette started this season second on the depth chart, with many still holding sour feelings towards the kicker after he failed to hit the field goal in the overtime loss to NC State last year.
The redemption could not happen at a better time against an opponent UNC loves to beat the most. A game that had many fans irritated due to all the kicking taking place, ended up being the reason fans stormed the field after the double overtime win.
In Mack Brown fashion, when meeting with the media, he took time during his recap before answering questions to praise the kicker.
“Really proud of Noah Burnette, he stepped up,” Brown said. “Twice in late of the ball game, had a pressure kick that kept us alive and gave us a chance to win.”
Later in the conference, Brown revealed he had the kickers talk to NFL kicker Justin Tucker, and it is safe to say it paid off for Burnette. The win is a huge confidence booster for Burnette and the football program as they look to draw a notable bowl game.