Bo Nix rallied Oregon State to a dramatic win over North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl.
The Knicks threw for 56 of 205 yards on the Ducks’ final drive and threw the game-winning six-yard touchdown to Chase Cota with 19 seconds remaining in the No. 15 Ducks’ 28-27 win over the Tar Heels Wednesday night at Petco Park.
Bucky Irving had six carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns during the first half and finished with 149 rushing yards.
After three carries to open the game, Oregon drove 54 yards with Irving accounting for 41 yards, including a two-yard total, to give UO an early 7-0 lead.
A 57-yard kickoff return gave North Carolina great field position for their ensuing drive, which was capped off by a six-yard touchdown run from Drake Maye to Andre Greene Jr.. to connect the match.
Each kicker missed the field goals before the Ducks regained the lead on a 66-yard touchdown run by Irving, who cut from left to right and found an open field thanks to a series of great blocks.
North Carolina State (9-5) responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 14-yard score from Maye to Bryson Nesbitt to tie it at 14-14.
Oregon (10-3) drove to the UNC 16 with less than a minute left in the first half when a Knicks pass to Terrance Ferguson was deflected multiple times, including the foot of Tar Heels power Echols, who returned it 40 yards to the UO 49. This was the time It is the third time the Knicks have been intercepted in the red zone this season and the second time on an upturned ball.
Maye connected with Kobe Paysour for a 49-yard touchdown run to give UNC a 21-14 lead at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Noah Burnett made a 19-yard field goal to make it 24-14 UNC with 9:04 left.
The Knicks rushed Oregon quickly, thanks to a defensive interference penalty on UO’s first long attempt of the night, a 30-yard pass to Chase Cota and finally a 6-yard TD pass to Troy Franklin to get the Ducks within 24-21 with 6:58 to play.
Maye drove UNC to the UO 24 on a fourth down conversion, but the Tar Heels hung on from there and settled for a 44-yard field goal to make it a touchdown game with 2:29 to go.
The Knicks led the game-winning drive, going 5 of 6 for 56 yards and the game-winning 6-yard score to Chase Cota with 19 seconds left in the game. Camden Lewis’ PAT bounced off the vertical to give Oregon the lead.
Highest performance: Bucky Irving had 13 carries for a career-high 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Major shareholders: Bo Nix was 23 of 30 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Troy Franklin had five catches for 24 yards and a touchdown. Terrance Ferguson had five catches for 84 yards. Macy Vona had seven tackles with two for loss, including a sack. UNC’s Drake Maye was 18 of 35 for 206 yards with three touchdowns and 12 carries for 45 yards.
Main play: Power Echols Knicks interception inside the red zone in the last minute of the first half tied the score at 14-14. UNC scored on the ensuing play to take a 21-14 lead.
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– James Crippia reported from San Diego.
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