South Florida 37

(5-2, 2-1 away)

North Carolina 20

(1-5, 1-3 home)

Coverage: ESPNU

12:00 PM ET, October 14, 2006

Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

1 2 3 4 T
USF 7 13 14 337
UNC 7 3 10 020

Top Performers

Passing: M. Grothe (USF) - 158 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Ponton (USF) - 17 CAR, 101 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: S. Green (USF) - 3 REC, 76 YDS, 1 TD

With bad home loss to South Florida, UNC falls to 1-5

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 27-10 lead.