It's a beautiful day for football here at Kenan as the Tar Heels take on Duke with the Victory Bell on the line. It's been three years since the bell has been painted Carolina blue and Duke hasn't won four straight in this series since the 1950s.

My name is Brett Friedlander and I am pinch-hitting for Tar Heel Maven Brant today, so I hope you'll follow along and comment frequently as the game goes on ...

PREGAME

Carolina is wearing dark blue uniforms from head to toe today, which is strange because the Tar Heels look more like Duke than Duke. ....

The Tar Heels win the toss and defer to the second half.

FIRST QUARTER

One play into the game and we already have our first review ... and it works out well for the Tar Heels. What was first ruled a 27-yard completion for the Blue Devils has been reversed. And the defense holds, forcing a quick three-and-out. Big early break there. ...

Michael Carter nearly breaks one on the Tar Heels first snap. But he also nearly lost the ball. He was fortunate to be able to backtrack and recover his own fumble to prevent a very costly turnover deep in Carolina territory. ...

A drop by Dazz Newsome on a play that could have been a big gainer stalls Carolina's first drive ...

Newsome makes up for the drop with a great catch, outjumping Duke's Jalen Alexander along the near sideline for a 34-yard gain. ... Sam Howell did a great job of feathering the ball in there to give his receiver a chance. ...

Strange play there, Javonte Williams got too close to Howell as he reared back to throw and knocked the ball loose. Williams recovered the fumble. But one play later, Howell gets into trouble and heaves one downfield only to have it intercepted by Duke's Marquis Waters ...

Busted coverage by Dominique Ross leaves Duke's Jalon Calhoun wide open for a big gain inside the Carolina red zone. First scoring threat of the day for either team ...

 Blue Devils cross up the Tar Heel defense with a running play on third-and-7 from the 12 ... Deon Jackson looked like he got in, then the ball got knocked loose and out of the end zone. The refs ruled he was down before the goal line. Play under review ...

And the play stands. First and goal from the 1 for Duke ...

Thanks to a false start penalty and some good coverage by Greg Ross on a pair of attempted fades into the end zone, the Blue Devils have to settle for a 25-yard field goal. It could have been worse ... Duke 3, Carolina 0, 4:33 left first quarter

Chazz Surratt wraps up Duke ballcarrier Deon Jackson during the first half Saturday 

Chazz Surratt wraps up Duke ballcarrier Deon Jackson during the first half Saturday 

Michael Carter's 38-yard kickoff return and three nice runs by Javonte Williams have Carolina quickly in business in Duke territory  ... 

Beau Corrales makes a great over the shoulder catch in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown that gives Carolina a 7-3 lead. Beautiful throw, great catch under duress. Corrales now has touchdown catches in three straight games. Howell has now thrown scoring passes in all eight games of his Tar Heels career ... Carolina 7, Duke 3, 1:36 left first quarter

Carolina keeps the momentum up ... Strowbridge with a third down sack to give the ball right back to the offense ... 

First quarter ends with Howell getting sacked for a nine-yard loss.

Carolina 7, Duke 3

SECOND QUARTER

Bad news to start the new period ... Freshman cornerback Storm Duck is out for the rest of the game with an "upper body injury." Tar Heels are getting dangerously short on healthy corners. ...

Duke has been a turnover machine in its two losses, with 11 giveaways including five last week at Virginia. Tar Heels just forced their their today when Dominique Ross sacked Harris, stripping the ball away for Jason Strowbridge to recover ...

Carolina can't do anything with the turnover thanks to two negative yard runs. It then gives Duke decent field position with a 25-yard punt by Ben Kiernan. Not sure why they've gone to the rugby style punt all of a sudden. The kid boomed his first two on traditional kicks. The last two (using the rugby style) have left a lot to be desired ...

Second time Carolina has tried a draw play on third and long and the second time it has been blown up for a loss. This time it makes a long field goal attempt into an incredibly long field goal attempt. ...

And Jonathan Kim's first career UNC attempt goes wide right from 52 yards. Still 7-3 Tar Heels. ...

Duke goes for it on fourth and inches from its own 44 and converts ...

There's takeaway No. 2 ... Dominque Ross making his case for ACC Defensive Back of the Week with the interception on an overthrow by Harris. Ross also had the strip sack on the first turnover earlier in the quarter ...

That's the half. ... Carolina 7, Duke 3

UNC-DUke first half stats

THIRD QUARTER

The Tar Heels didn't do a good job of protecting Howell in the first half and they're not doing any better to start the second half as Howell is brought down after running for his life ...

But then, they're running the ball well. Carter with 16 and 17 yard gains on his first two carries of the half and the Tar Heels are in Duke territory ... 

Michael Carter gains yardage as Duke's Tre Hornbuckle tries to make a tackle 

Michael Carter gains yardage as Duke's Tre Hornbuckle tries to make a tackle 

And just like that, Howell drops a 47-yard dime right in stride to Newsome, who drags a Duke defender Jalen Alexander into the end zone for a touchdown ... Carolina 14, Duke 3

Two things of note. First, Noah Ruggles kicked the extra point for the Tar Heels, not Jonathan Kim. Second, Howell has only five completions thus far, but is averaging 28.2 yards on them. His TD pass to Newsome was his sixth this season of 40 or more yards. He also has at least two TD passes in every game he's played for Carolina ...

Duke answers right back with a quick strike of its own. Harris finishes off a 10-play, 74-yard drive by hitting Scott Bracey for an 11-yard touchdown pass that narrows the Tar Heel lead -- Carolina 14, Duke 10, 8:57 left in the third quarter

Disastrous turn of events for the Tar Heels ... Howell, under duress again, has his pass batted straight into the air by Duke linebacker Victor Dimukeje and intercepted by Alexander, who returns it to the Carolina 7. On the first play after the turnover, Harris keeps around right end for the go-ahead touchdown. .... Duke 17, Carolina 14, 8:37 left third quarter

Maybe it's because they can't protect Howell or maybe they just think the ground game is the better option today, but that's the third time Phil Longo has dialed up a running play on third and long in Duke territory. This time it sets up a tying field goal from 34 yards out by Ruggles. ... Carolina 17, Duke 17 with 3:59 left in the third

Apparently Ruggles' demotion lasted only one 52-yard attempt late in the first half. He's made both his kicks thus far, an extra point and the aforementioned 34-yard field goal. The Tar Heels sure could have used one of those in overtime at Virginia Tech last week. ...

Duke gives Carolina's defense a break by jumping before the snap on a fourth-and-one play from midfield. Backup right guard Justin Santos was the culprit. The five yards brings on the punt team ...

End of 3 ... Carolina 17, Duke 17

Duke unc stats third quarte

FOURTH QUARTER

Yet another presnap penalty by Duke helps Carolina's defense get off the field after a punt that gave the Blue Devils the ball near midfield. ... 

Each possession starting to get urgent now with just over 13 minutes left ...

And that three-and-out isn't what the Tar Heels needed right now. They're getting clobbered at the point of attack. Offensive line has been horrible today ...

Duke starts near midfield again. Carolina playing with fire ...

The Blue Devils keep trying to help the Tar Heels out ... a reverse that was going nowhere ends in a fumble out of bounds. Then a dropped pass by a wide open Darrell Harding and a badly overthrown swing pass on third down brings up another punt ... 

Neither team playing like they want to win right now ...

Javonte Williams with a huge 40 yard run to get Carolina to midfield ... that looked a lot like some of his runs on this field for Wallace-Rose Hill in his two state championship game victories at Kenan ... It's the longest run of his Tar Heels career ...

Now true freshman Emery Simmons makes a nice move to come back and catch an underthrown pass for another first down ...

Howell hit as he threw ... again ... and another field goal attempt is upcoming. ...

Ruggles is good from 40 yards to give Carolina the lead. Apparently he only misses in overtimes or at the end of regulation ... Carolina 20, Duke 17, 7 minutes remaining in regulation

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Carolina going right down to the wire in this one ...

Defense comes up with a HUGE three-and-out. Still not over, though. Six and a half minutes still left. Tar Heels need to use up some clock and score on this upcoming possession. ...

Howell hasn't completed many passes today -- eight to be exact. But the ones he's hit on have been biggies. That one was 41 yards to Corrales. A TD here would put this one away ...

But Howell throws incomplete to Walston on third down. Fourth and four from the 13 with 3:44 left. Gotta kick the field goal here, right?

Nope. Mack going for it ....

Not sure that's what I'd do, but Howell hits Newsome for the first down to the 3. First and goal. UNC now 11 of 14 on fourth down this season. That's become Howell's speciality, it seems. ...

Javonte Williams tries the hurdle move and pays for it. Fumbles the ball away with 2:55 left.  That's why you kick the field goal on that fourth down play. A TD still beats you here, but now a field goal sends it to overtime. ...

Fourth and three from the 26 ... this is the game right here.

Duke converts. Blue Devils still alive.

Interference on Greg Ross ... Duke getting close to field goal range with 1:22 left. That was actually a good play by Ross. A catch might have resulted in a TD. Instead, only a 15 yard gain.

Fourth and one from the Carolina 32 with 57 seconds left ... Decision time for Cutcliffe. And he'll call time out to think about it. ...

Duke goes for it and stops Harris on a keeper, but Allen Cater gets called for a facemask penalty, giving the Blue Devils a first down at the 18  ...

Blue Devils at the 3 with 21 seconds left. They have to throw the ball with no timeouts left ...

Pete Carroll must have made that call for Duke ... They try to run a jump pass thrown by a running back and Chazz Surratt saves the day ... 

Carolina wins 20-17 in the most improbable of ways.. The Victory Bell is being rolled across to the Tar Heels side of the field by a happy group of players .... first time in the seniors' careers that they've had this experience!

Also, Mack Brown is now the winningest coach in UNC history with his 73rd victory with the Tar Heels.

WOW.

Say this for this Carolina team ... it certainly has a flair for the dramatic!

Final UNC-Duke box