With mounted injuries from the season including the loss of two key offensive linemen, Tommy Tuberville saw his team struggle early giving up a safety and then follow with a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with the Tar Heels jumping out to a 16-0 advantage before a Tony Miliano 34-yard field goal put the Bearcats on the board.
Last year's Belk Bowl MVP, Brendon Kay, was sacked five times in the game while hitting on 15-of-35 passes for 181 yards, no touchdowns and one interception to close out his Bearcats career.
Looking to give the Bearcats a spark, Tuberville used former high school quarterback Shaq Washington in a wildcat formation and watched as Washington pulled off a 52-yard run to place the Bearcats in scoring position to close out the third quarter.
Washington would deliver two plays into the fourth quarter and the Bearcats faithful saw a small glimmer of a miracle comeback when the Bearcats forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff recovering the ball on the North Carolina six yard line.
The Bearcats failed to capitalize turning the ball over on downs and watched as the Tar Heels added another three points to their total and finish with a 39-17 victory over the AAC Bearcats.