WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Darian Durant's late heroics gave North Carolina a win and kept alive its bowl hopes.
Durant fired a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Holley with 36 seconds remaining left as the Tar Heels defeated Wake Forest, 31-24, in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
North Carolina (5-5, 4-3 ACC) squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead but was saved by Durant, who completed 18-of-36 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Durant was intercepted once and added a three-yard rushing TD in the third quarter that gave the Tar Heels a 17-10 lead.
Justin Phillips hauled in a two-yard scoring strike from Durant with just under two minutes left in the third quarter to extend the Tar Heels' lead to 24-10.
Wake Forest (4-5, 1-5) tied the game, 24-24, wjust under five minutes into the fourth on a pair of one-yard TD runs by Chris Barclay, who rushed for 138 yards on 30 carries.
North Carolina needs a win at Duke next week for its sixth win and bowl eligibility.
Wake Forest, which has lost its five games by a combined 30 points, needs wins at Miami and Maryland in the next two weeks to become bowl eligible.