Sept. 9, 2000
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Julius Peppers returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown and Bosley Allen had two long scoring plays in the fourth quarter to help seal North Carolina's 35-14 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday night.
The Tar Heels (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) limited the Demon Deacons to 162 total yards, including minus 2 yards rushing in winning their sixth straight at Groves Stadium.
Wake Forest is off to an 0-2 start for the first time since 1995, allowing 25 unanswered points in the second half.
Peppers, a 6-foot-6 defensive end who also helped North Carolina to the Final Four in basketball, teamed with linebacker Sedrick Hodge on a play that turned the game around early in the third quarter.
North Carolina trailed 14-10, but Hodge stripped Jamie Scott of the ball in the backfield and Peppers scooped it up and raced untouched into the end zone with 11:13 left in the third quarter.
Wake Forest could do little after that offensively as C.J. Leak was sacked eight times.
Jeff Reed's second field goal of the game, a 37-yarder late in the third quarter, gave North Carolina some breathing room at 20-14 before Allen's 78-yard punt return with 9:55 left sealed it.
Allen had seven returns on the night for 153 yards. The Tar Heels managed just 85 total yards on punt returns in 11 games a year ago - last in the NCAA.
Allen added a 60-yard touchdown reception 3 1/2 minutes later to close out the scoring.
Wake Forest drove 88 yards on its second series as some poor tackling by the Tar Heels allowed a 43-yard completion from Leak to Fabian Davis and an 18-yard run by Scott. Those two plays set up a 2-yard score by Leak.
But North Carolina's defense took over from there as the Demon Deacons were limited to minus 24 yards on their next three series.
Before Curry's bomb, the Tar Heels had managed just 33 yards on 23 plays against a defense that allowed 382 yards in a season-opening loss to Division I-AA Appalachian State.
The Demon Deacons regained the lead late in the second quarter on a great individual defensive play by Bryan Ray after a punt was downed at the North Carolina 1.
Curry went back to pass in the end zone on second down, but Ray smacked Curry's arm, forcing him to lose the ball. The senior defensive end was there to fall on it and the Demon Deacons took a 14-10 lead into halftime.