BOONE, NC — Redshirt rookie Drake Maye continued his torrid start to the season, throwing for 352 yards and combining for five touchdowns as North Carolina outlasted Appalachia State 63-61 on Saturday despite dropping 40 points in the fourth quarter.
Maye, the younger brother of former Tar Heels basketball star Luke Maye, threw a school-record nine touchdown passes in two career starts. He also ran for a score against the Mountaineers.
Chase Brice threw for 376 yards and six touchdowns for Appalachian State (0-1).
Both teams had 62 points and 504 yards — in the fourth quarter.
With the game tied at 49, Maye threw a ball through the middle to DJ Jones for a 42-yard touchdown pass during a Mountaineers total blitz to give North Carolina (2-0) the lead with 2 :50 to do. the game.
App State responded with Brice throwing his fifth TD pass of the game, a 28-yard strike to Deshaun Davis with 31 seconds left. The Mountaineers went for the 2-point conversion – and the apparent win – but Brice’s pass sailed just over Davis’ head.
It looked like the game would end there, but UNC’s Bryson Nesbit returned the ensuing inbounds kick for a 43-yard touchdown – an error that gave the Mountaineers 31 seconds to try and score again . Sure enough, Brice found Kaedin Robinson for a 26-yard TD strike with 9 seconds left to cut the lead to 63-61.
The Mountaineers went for 2 but Brice was stopped before the end zone.
The Tar Heels trailed 21-7 before scoring 34 straight points and shutting up a record crowd of 40,168 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Maye threw three TD passes in the first half, including a 10-yard TD strike to Nesbit to give the Tar Heels a 28-21 lead with 1 second left.
Maye scored 28 straight unanswered points for UNC with a 12-yard touchdown run to start the second half, earning kudos from former Tar Heels and current Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell in the end zone after stepping onto the sideline.
UNC extended their lead to 41-21 after two Noah Burnette field goals in the fourth quarter before the Mountaineers responded with six touchdowns.
It was the most points ever scored in a UNC game since the school started football in 1888.