No. 20 North Carolina rolls past Minnesota 31-13

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Field Level Media
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Sep 16, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver J.J. Jones (5) catches the ball as Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Tre'Von Jones (2) defends in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Sep 16, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver J.J. Jones (5) catches the ball as Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Tre'Von Jones (2) defends in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Image: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Maye threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns as No. 20 North Carolina beat visiting Minnesota 31-13 in a nonconference clash at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Maye completed 29 of 40 passes and rushed 13 times for 34 yards in the victory. It was the second time in his career that Maye has topped 400 yards through the air.

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Nate McCollum had 15 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (3-0).

Minnesota (2-1) was powered by running back Darius Taylor, who had 138 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was the second consecutive week Taylor passed the 100-yard mark.

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UNC opened a quick lead when Maye hit McCollum for a 46-yard touchdown just over three minutes into the game to cap off the Tar Heels' game-opening drive.

A 1-yard rushing touchdown by Omarion Hampton to start the second quarter pushed UNC's lead to 14-0, and a 19-yard pass from Maye to Bryson Nesbit gave the Tar Heels a 21-3 lead just over two minutes before halftime.

After a 2-yard TD run by Taylor before the half and Dragan Kesich's second field goal of the day, the Gophers trimmed the deficit to 21-13 early in the second half, but Minnesota never got closer.

A 42-yard field goal by Noah Burnette in the third quarter and a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Brooks British in the fourth pushed the game out of reach, giving UNC its second 18-point lead of the game with just five minutes to play.

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UNC won despite struggling with penalties and turnovers. Maye threw a pair of interceptions, and the Tar Heels were flagged five times for 47 yards. After throwing just seven interceptions in 14 games last season, Maye has been picked off four times in three games this year.

UNC takes its unbeaten record into conference play next week, opening its Atlantic Coast Conference slate at Pitt on Saturday. Minnesota resumes Big Ten play at Northwestern.

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—Field Level Media