CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Ricky Ponton returned from a six-game
suspension and ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns to carry South
Florida to a 37-20 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.
Ponton was one of three players suspended by South Florida (5-2)
before the season for violation of unspecified school policy. Each
player was given a six-game suspension.
North Carolina (1-5) dropped its third straight game. After the
Tar Heels took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, quarterback Cam
Sexton missed nine straight passes. He threw a touchdown pass to
Jon Hamlett with 33 seconds left in the third quarter, and Connor
Barth kicked two field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder
earlier in the period.
South Florida countered Ronnie McGill's 15-yard scoring run
midway through the first quarter with Taurus Johnson's 19-yard
touchdown run on a reverse with 1:13 left in the period.
The Golden Bulls converted two interceptions into touchdowns.
After Stephen Nicholas' first career interception at the North
Carolina 35, Matt Grothe tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to S.J.
Green with 12:03 left in the half.
Danny Verpaele's interception and 26-yard return set up Ponton's
1-yard burst with 9:10 left before halftime. Ponton had a 2-yard
touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
Benjamin Williams capped a 71-yard drive off the opening kickoff
in the second half with a 1-yard score, giving South Florida a