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Va. Tech improves to 4-1 in inaugural ACC season

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Mike Imoh ran for 236 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as No. 18 Virginia Tech won 27-24 over North Carolina, which missed a 54-yard field goal with about a minute left that would have tied the game.

The Tar Heels, who upset Miami last week on a last-play field goal by freshman Connor Barth, seemed poised for more late-game
heroics. North Carolina drove to the Tech 26 in the closing minutes, but an 11-yard sack of Darian Durant on third down made Barth's job much tougher. His 54-yard attempt fell short.

Bryan Randall added a rushing score for the Hokies (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won five straight games. Brandon Pace had two field goals for the Hokies, who nearly blew a 13-point second-half lead.

Virginia Tech kept its hopes alive of winning the ACC title in its first season in the league. The Hokies close the season with Maryland, Virginia and Miami, and winning out will give them the title in a league they had long hoped to join.

North Carolina (4-5, 3-3), coming off that 31-28 win against Miami, missed an opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time in three years.

Imoh skipped over falling defenders and squeezed his 5-foot-7 frame through narrow running lanes, carrying 31 times to power the Hokies' offense. He passed the 200-yard mark with a 13-yard touchdown run for a 27-14 lead with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

But North Carolina fought back. Tom O'Leary blocked a punt by Vinnie Burns deep in Virginia Tech territory and D.J. Walker recovered the ball and rolled into the end zone to cut the deficit to 27-24 early in the fourth quarter.

Chad Scott had another big day for the Tar Heels. After rushing for 175 yards last week against Miami, he ran for 122 against the
Hokies, making him the first Tar Heel in seven years to put together consecutive 100-yard games.