Sept. 13, 1997
Stanford Battles UNC but Falls Short 28-17
Oscar Davenport threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Octavus Barnes for the go-ahead score and
Quinton Savage blocked a punt that Antwon Black recovered for a touchdown as North Carolina
topped Stanford, 28-17.
The Tar Heels (2-0) trailed 17-14 heading into the final quarter before Davenport, who plays less
than starter Chris Keldorf, found Barnes to make it 21-17 with 12:42 remaining.
"We came back with Oscar because of his mobility and he did a great job of sprinting out," said
North Carolina coach Mack Brown. "He made a tremendous decision on the touchdown throw to
Octavus. He dropped back to throw and then pulled it down. I was hoping he was going to run
but he was able to find Octavus for the touchdown."
Seven minutes later, Kevin Miller took a bad snap and Savage, a safety, broke through and
blocked the punt. Black, also a safety, picked up the loose ball in the end zone and the team
began to celebrate with a 28-17 lead.
"(Savage) had the ball first and it jumped out of his hands into mine," explained Black. "I
bobbled it, recovered and took it in for the touchdown. It just popped into my hands and I thank
God for that."
"That play obviously changed momentum," said Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham. "Without
that play, we have a chance to drive down the field and win the game. The snap was just a little to
the right. It took a little longer to get off and that obviously increases the chance of a
Chad Hutchinson drove Stanford (1-1) deep into North Carolina territory in the final minute, but
safety Greg Williams iced the victory with an interception in the end zone. It was his second
interception of the game as he benefited from Hutchinson consistently throwing away from
All-American cornerback Dre' Bly.
North Carolina held a 14-7 lead at halftime but Hutchinson ran five yards for a score and Miller
added a 27-yard field goal in a 69-second span of the third quarter that gave the Cardinal a 17-14
Davenport rallied North Carolina with a nine-play, 76-yard drive that covered nearly five minutes
and ended with the scoring pass to Barnes for the go-ahead points. Davenport was 12-of-14 for
116 yards and two scores with no interceptions, while Keldorf finished 8-of-12 for 42 yards.
"Coach Brown tells us to take care of the ball and throw completions," Davenport said. "That's
pretty much what we did. It just so happens tonight that we had receivers that were open and we
got the ball to them."
Hutchinson found fullback Jon Ritchie in the right flat for an 11-yard score as Stanford assumed
a 7-0 lead 5:01 into the game. Hutchinson was 16-of-34 for 191 yards with a touchdown and
Davenport responed by hitting tight end Alge Crumpler for a six-yard score 2:22 into the second
quarter. That capped a 17-play, 99-yard drive that gobbled 8:35 off the clock. North Carolina had
just three plays exceeding 10 yards on the march, none longer than 12 yards.
"When you face a drive that goes 21 plays, I think that would take a lot out of anyone and it
obviously took a lot out of our team," Willingham said.
Jonathan Linton, who had 96 yards on 28 carries, bulled in for a one-yard score with 27 seconds
left in the first half to give North Carolina the lead. The 16-play drive covered 71 yards and ate
"On defense, they were tired," said North Carolina receiver Na Brown, who caught six passes
for 49 yards. "We tried to find weak spots in their defense and we did. The middle was wide
open. We just tried to exploit that and do the best we could."
The Tar Heels held the ball for nearly 12 minutes more than Stanford and outgained the Cardinal,
294-234. North Carolina gained 136 yards on the ground and its vaunted defense allowed just
43. Stanford had just 12 first downs to UNC's 22.
"They got after us," Hutchinson said of the Tar Heels' defense. "They held up to their number
one in the nation ranking."
"We're disappointed in our effort," said Stanford defensive end Kailee Wong. "We did a couple
of things to shoot ourselves in the foot."