Javonte Williams rushed for three touchdowns as host No. 14 North Carolina overwhelmed No. 23 North Carolina State 48-21 on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Williams, who scored on second-half runs of 1, 5 and 27 yards, finished with 160 yards on 19 carries, and Michael Carter had a 16-yard touchdown run and 106 rushing yards on 17 attempts.
Quarterback Sam Howell completed 18 of 29 passes for 252 yards and one touchdown for the Tar Heels (4-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
NC State quarterback Bailey Hockman returned to a starting role for the first time since Sept. 26 after Devin Leary suffered a broken leg last weekend in a victory against Duke. He was 14-for-24 for 215 yards with a touchdown. Hockman also scored on a 1-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter.
Freshman Ben Finley, younger brother of former NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, entered in the second quarter for the visiting Wolfpack (4-2, 4-2). He went 13-for-20 for 143 yards and a touchdown.
North Carolina, which was coming off an upset loss at Florida State a week earlier, moved into NC State territory on its first three possessions, converting those chances into a 14-0 lead.
Carter scooted 16 yards for a touchdown on the Tar Heels' first drive, completing a 10-play march.
Howell, who had nearly 100 passing yards in the first quarter, scored his first touchdown of the season early in the second quarter on a 10-yard run.
NC State picked up just one first down on its first three drives combined, which all ended in its own territory.
On Finley's first drive at the controls, the Wolfpack moved deep into North Carolina territory until the freshman's pass was bobbled by Dylan Parham in the end zone and then picked off by Don Chapman.
North Carolina failed to take advantage despite a long drive, with Grayson Atkins' field-goal attempt from 22 yards out clanking off the left upright.
Atkins later connected from 40 yards out on the last play of the half after Finley's 42-yard pass to Emeka Emezie put the Wolfpack on the board.
It marked the first time since 1993 that the teams met with both squads holding a national ranking. The past six meetings came in regular-season finales, but the date changed for this season with summer revisions to ACC schedules.
NC State won its three previous trips to Chapel Hill, so this was the Wolfpack's first road loss in the series under coach Dave Doeren.
--Field Level Media