Mack Brown isn’t in Austin anymore. His current team isn’t fighting for a national championship. He’s dealing with ACC officials now instead of Big 12 officials. And he doesn’t get a second chance at a miracle.
Brown’s North Carolina Tar Heels were trying to complete a huge rally at Wake Forest on Friday when Michael Carter stepped out of bounds as time expired. There was a booth review to make sure the game had indeed ended.
Across the college football landscape, there may have been a flashback or two to this:
Brown raised his index finger once more Friday, but unlike that Texas-Nebraska Big 12 championship game a decade ago, no time was added to the clock.
The Heels (2-1) had suffered their first loss of the 2019 season, 24-18.
Give Brown’s kids credit, though. They cut a 21-0 deficit on the road vs. a conference opponent (even though the game didn’t count in the ACC standings) to 21-18 in the fourth quarter. Wake (3-0) added a field goal with 1:09 remaining in regulation, forcing UNC to score a touchdown.
The Heels took over at their 25 on the ensuing kickoff. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell, playing the role of Colt McCoy, moved UNC to midfield, but Carter was a second too late in getting out of bounds on a fourth-down run, and the comeback dream had hit :00.
There was no do-over this time.