SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Tommy DeVito, in relief of a struggling Eric Dungey, hit tight end Ravian Pierce on a 4-yard scoring play in the second overtime and Syracuse defeated North Carolina 40-37 on Saturday.
DeVito, who entered the game in the fourth quarter, sent it to overtime with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Nykeim Johnson with 1:39 to go.
Syracuse (5-2, 2-2 ACC) appeared to be on its way to a third straight loss until DeVito's heroics. North Carolina (1-5, 1-3) rallied from a 20-7 deficit to take a 27-20 lead with 10 minutes to go but dropped its third straight game.
DeVito, a redshirt freshman, was 11-of-19 passing for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Dungey was 17-of-33 for 225 yards but struggled to find a rhythm.
Nathan Elliott was 34-of-52 for 321 yards and two touchdowns for North Carolina.
Dazz Newsome caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Elliott and scored on a 75-yard punt return to rally North Carolina in the see-saw contest.
North Carolina trailed 20-7 less than a minute into the third quarter after the Orange scored on a three-play, 54-second drive capped by Dungey's 16-yard run up the middle.
Antonio Williams raced around left end for a 12-yard score, then Newsome took Sterling Hofrichter's punt 75 yards down the right sideline for another score and a 21-20 lead. Field goals of 34 and 25 yards by Freeman Jones extended North Carolina's margin to 27-20 until DeVito hit Johnson.
Jamal Custis had seven receptions and one touchdown, in the first overtime, and Sean Riley also had seven catches.
North Carolina: A heavy underdog, the Tar Heels gave Syracuse a run for its money only to suffer a heart-breaking loss. With another road game coming up, the Tar Heels are headed for a long second half of the season.
Syracuse: Quite simply, this game saved the Orange’s season. A loss to the Tar Heels would have put bowl hopes in jeopardy. And, the Orange might have seen a changing of the guard at quarterback.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels conclude their two-game road trip Saturday against Virginia.
Syracuse: The Orange hosts North Carolina State Saturday.