banner

College Football

more stats

North Carolina (6-4) at Virginia (4-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 7:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Scott Stadium (61,500) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: ESPN. Home Record: UNC 5-1, Virginia 3-3. Away Record: UNC 1-3, Virginia 1-3. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, Virginia 0-0. Conference Record: UNC 3-3, Virginia 2-4 Series Record: UNC leads 58-54-4.

GAME NOTES: Virginia kept its postseason hopes alive in thrilling fashion last weekend, a result the Cavaliers will try to duplicate this Saturday when the North Carolina Tar Heels land in Charlottesville for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout.

The Tar Heels have alternated wins and losses over their last four games, including their first home loss of the season this past Saturday against Georgia Tech. In a game the featured no shortage of offense the Tar Heels wound up on the wrong side of a 68-50 decision. North Carolina had no answer for Georgia Tech's running game, surrendering 380 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. UNC is now 6-4 overall, while splitting its six conference games.

On the other side Virginia is still fighting for its postseason life and staved off elimination from bowl contention with a thrilling 41-40 win at home over Miami-Florida. With six seconds remaining, Michael Rocco connected with tight end Jake McGee in the back of the end zone to give the Cavaliers a much needed victory.

In a rivalry that began back in 1892, these two squads have been relatively even. North Carolina leads the all-time series 58-54-4 and has won back-to- back games against Virginia, including a 28-17 triumph last season. Virginia had won seven of the previous eight before the Tar Heels' current streak.

As its effort against Georgia Tech may indicate, the North Carolina has had no problem on offense this season. The Tar Heels are the third ranked offense in terms of scoring (40.5 ppg) and total yards (488.7 pg) in the ACC this season.

Much of the offensive success stems from the playmaking ability of dynamic running back Giovani Bernard. Bernard has been one of the most explosive offensive players in the conference and perhaps the country this season. He has amassed 1,008 rushing yards on 142 carries, for a stellar 7.1 yards per carry averaged. He is also second on the team in receiving with 38 receptions for 411 yards. On top of that, his 15 total touchdowns are almost more than twice that of the next highest scoring player. That player is A.J. Blue, who also happens to be a running back. Blue has rushed for 393 yards this season and has scored all eight of his touchdowns on the ground.

Ignoring the passing game would be a mistake. Bryn Renner has enjoyed a very successful season in which he has thrown for 2,736 yards and 20 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. His quarterback efficiency rating (144.23) is the third best mark in the conference, behind Tajh Boyd of Clemson and E.J. Manuel of Florida State.

Other than Bernard, the top threats on the team are Erik Highsmith (46 receptions, 511 yards, 2 TDs), Eric Ebron (37 receptions, 568 yards, 3 TDs) and Quinshad Davis (36 receptions, 463 yards, 3 TDs).

While the offense has had no shortage of success, the Tar Heels' defensive effort has been rather mundane. North Carolina is right in the middle of conference in scoring defense (25.7 ppg) as well as total yards allowed (392.1 ypg). Where the Tar Heels have been able to shine on defense is in creating negative plays. North Carolina has racked up 79 tackles for loss this season, tops in the ACC.

Kevin Reddick and Kareem Martin are tied for the team lead in the category with 14 tackles for loss each. Reddick is also the team's leading tackler (72) and pass rusher with 5.5 sacks. Sylvester Williams has racked up five sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss as well. Tim Scott and Jabari Price have been strong in the secondary. Price has 71 tackles and nine passes defended, while Scott has 38 tackles, four interceptions and 11 passes defended.

From week to week the quarterback situation has been in constant flux for Virginia. Both Rocco and Phillip Sims have played in just about every game this season, especially since week four against TCU. Against Miami it was Rocco's turn to shine, as he completed 29-of-37 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns in making the start. On the season Rocco has thrown for more touchdowns (12), yards (1,585) and for a better completion percentage (61.5) but has been intercepted twice as much as Sims. Shared snaps will likely be in order this weekend.

In the backfield the tandem of Kevin Parks and Perry Jones has been the main source of production. Parks leads the team in rushing yards (660) and rushing touchdowns (five). Jones has been more of a dynamic offensive weapon this season with his ability to run (395 yards) as well as contribute in the passing game (41 receptions, 341 yards).

Virginia has been one of the better teams in the conference when it comes to yards allowed this season. The Cavaliers are third in the conference in total defense (349.1 ypg). Unfortunately that has not translated on the scoreboard with Virginia a distant eighth in the ACC in scoring defense (29.3 ppg). Much of that comes from the fact that Virginia has struggled to hold onto the ball this season, as the Cavaliers have the worst turnover margin in the ACC (-12).

On defense, tackle machine Steve Greer is the player to watch. Greer has already accumulated 95 tackles this season, 7.5 of which went for loss. He trails only Nick Clancy of Boston College in total tackles in the ACC. Chris Brathwaite (34 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks) leads the team in sacks, although that has not been a strength for the Cavaliers.

While North Carolina has more than likely secured a postseason berth, Virginia will still have to play with urgency to keep its season going beyond the end of November. With that type of desperation, plus North Carolina's failures on the road this season (1-3), the Cavaliers may still be fighting for the bowl season after this weekend.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 27, North Carolina 26

11/14 10:38:43 ET

Other Stories

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Half
ECU 29
HAW 38
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
2nd
MRGST 45
LIB 44
 
2nd
HAMP 54
AMER 57
 
2nd
BEL 42
DEN 25
 
2nd
UMASS 51
NE 31
 
2nd
JMU 50
SHU 37
 
2nd
KNST 46
SAMF 32
 
Half
ECU 29
HAW 38
 
1st
CHAM 20
MIZZ 36
 
1st
CCAR 32
LAMON 23
 
1st
OKLA 22
UCLA 19
 
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL