CHAPEL HILL — Bryce Perkins amassed 490 total yards and accounted for five touchdowns to help Virginia beat North Carolina 38-31 on Saturday night.
Perkins threw three touchdown passes and ran for 112 yards and two scores as the Cavaliers (6-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) became bowl-eligible for the third consecutive season.
He gave Virginia the lead for good on the second play of the second half, scrambling through North Carolina's defense for a career-long 65-yard touchdown.
The play was part of an avalanche of points for the Cavaliers, who trailed 17-10 late in the second quarter before scoring touchdowns on four consecutive possessions.
The Tar Heels twice had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Their best opportunity came from Virginia's 6-yard line with five minutes remaining, when Sam Howell's fourth-down pass to Beau Corrales was incomplete.
Howell was 15 of 29 for 353 yards and four touchdowns for North Carolina (4-5, 3-3).
Dyami Brown had six catches for a career-high 202 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels.
Virginia: The Cavaliers were the preseason pick to win the wide-open Coastal Division, and they have a good chance to fulfill that prophecy. Virginia's schedule down the stretch is favorable with all three of its games at home. The Cavaliers have an open date in between games they should win against Georgia Tech and Liberty. The finale against rival Virginia Tech on Nov. 29 could be huge.
North Carolina: It was another day at the office for the Tar Heels, who have played perhaps college football's most drama-filled season. The problem is that they fell short again. Eight of North Carolina's nine games have been decided by seven points or fewer, and the Tar Heels are 3-5 in those games.
Virginia: The Cavaliers host Georgia Tech on Saturday to begin a three-game homestand to close the regular season.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels play at Pittsburgh, whom they've beaten six consecutive times, in a Thursday night game on Nov. 14.