Bo Nix rallied Oregon to a dramatic comeback win over North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl.

Nix threw for 56 of his 205 yards on the Ducks’ final drive and tossed the game-winning six-yard touchdown to Chase Cota with 19 seconds left in a 28-27 win for the No. 15 Ducks over the Tar Heels on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

“We talked about it going into the game that we played 720 minutes of football this season, and we had to play 60 more, and we played all 60 of it,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “Real proud of our players to be able to cap this season off. We talked about coming in tonight and really finishing the season with not a period, but an exclamation point, and I would say that was an exclamation point.”

Down 10 with 9:13 to go, Nix closed the game going 9 of 10 for 103 yards and two touchdowns, first finding Troy Franklin with 6:58 to go. After Oregon’s defense forced UNC to settle for a 44-yard field goal, Nix went 5 of 6 for 56 yards and the game-winning score to Cota that tied the game and Camden Lewis’ PAT bounced off the left upright and through to give Oregon the lead.

“We executed and had some explosive plays,” Nix said. “(Terrance Ferguson) had that long one to set us up. We get to the fourth and 2, fourth and manageable, and it’s just who wants it more on that specific play and who’s willing to compete until the final whistle.”

Bucky Irving had 13 carries for a career-high tying 149 yards and two touchdowns en route to offensive player of the game honors. The sophomore had six carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns during the first half.

“(Lanning) told me to trust the guy in front of me,” Irving said. “I just want to thank him for telling me what I can do. And also I want to thank the O-line for always being there.”

After a three-and-out to open the game, Oregon drove 54 yards with Irving accounting for 41 yards, including a two-yard score, to give UO an early 7-0 lead.

A 57-yard kickoff return gave North Carolina great field position for its ensuing drive, which it capped with a six-yard touchdown from Drake Maye to Andre Greene Jr. to tie the game.

Each kicker missed field goals before the Ducks regained the lead on a 66-yard touchdown by Irving, who cut back from left to right and found open field thanks to a series of great blocks.

Nix credited sixth-year senior center Alex Forsyth, who left the game with an injury during the second half, with making the pre-snap play call on the long touchdown.

North Carolina (9-5) responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard score from Maye to Bryson Nesbitt to tie it at 14-14.

Oregon (10-3) drove to the UNC 16 with less than a minute to go before halftime when Nix’s pass for Terrance Ferguson was deflected multiple times, including off the foot of Tar Heels linebacker Power Echols, who returned it 40 yards to the UO 49. It was the third time Nix was intercepted in the red zone this season and second time on a tipped ball.

Maye connected with Kobe Paysour for a 49-yard touchdown to give UNC a 21-14 halftime lead.

After a scoreless third quarter, Noah Burnette made a 19-yard field goal to make it 24-14 UNC with 9:04 to go.

Nix rallied Oregon quickly, thanks to a defensive pass interference penalty on UO’s first long attempt of the night, a 30-yard pass to Cota and finally a 6-yard touchdown pass to Franklin.

“It takes 11 guys to buy in and believe on that drive,” Nix said. “And when you are down by I believe it was 10 points, you need to score there. So we knew what we had to do to go down and do that, and we did. Play after play we made sure we went down.”

Ducks linebacker Mase Funa, who earned defensive player of the game honors, had three of his seven tackles on UNC’s ensuing drive, which stalled at the UO 27 with 2:29 to go.

“It wasn’t just on the play, it was on that whole drive,” Funa said. “Focusing on just doing their job and doing simple better and that’s what we did. We executed and it came down to who wanted it more.”

Top performance: Bucky Irving had 13 carries for a career-high tying 149 yards and two touchdowns.

Key contributors: Bo Nix was 23 of 30 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Troy Franklin had five catches for 24 yards and a touchdown. Terrance Ferguson had five catches for 84 yards. Mase Funa had seven tackles with two for loss including a sack. UNC’s Drake Maye was 18 of 35 for 206 yards with three touchdowns and 12 carries for 45 yards.

Key play: Power Echols’ interception of Nix inside the red zone in the final minute of the first half with the score tied at 14-14. UNC scored on the ensuing play to take a 21-14 lead.

It was over when: Lewis’ PAT banked through the uprights.

— James Crepea reported from San Diego.

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