The Tar Heels tied the game at 10-10 with its drive that started in the first quarter and carried over to the second. They reached the Clemson 11 but the Tiger defense held and forced a 32 yard field goal by Thomas Moore.
Clemson went 80 yards for the go ahead touchdown on its next possession. Tajh Boyd found freshman receiver Martavis Bryant in the right corner of the end zone for a 29 yard touchdown pass. Clemson led 17-10 with 7:46 left in the half.
The Clemson defense struck again later in the quarter when Kourtnei Brown got his hands on a swing pass by Bryn Renner and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown that made it 24-10 Clemson with 4:45 left in the half.
But the Tar Heels did not cave in. They came right back with a quick score…a 58 yard pass from Renner to Jheranie Boyd who beat Coty Sensabaugh at the Tiger 15 and went in from there to make it a 24-17 game with 3:27 left in the half.
Clemson had a chance to pad its lead late in the half after recovering a Tar Heel fumble at the UNC 47. Chandler Cantanzaro, who had made his previous 9 field goal attempts, was wide left from 46 yards.
At the half, Clemson 24-UNC 17