Talking points: Heels run over Hokies
Posted October 6, 2012
Updated October 7, 2012
1. Officials were handing out penalties like they were an Oprah giveaway. "You get a flag! And you get a flag! Everyone gets a flag!"
North Carolina and Virginia Tech combined for 11 infractions for 73 yards in the 1st quarter alone. The Heels ended the afternoon with 15 penalties for 128 yards, with the majority consisting of the pre-snap variety. The flags bogged down North Carolina's offense early in the game and a couple of them lead to Virginia Tech scores.
Tim Scott’s shoulder hit on Dyrell Roberts, which dislodged his helmet, resulted in an unnecessary roughness. The Hokies notched their first touchdown later in the drive. In the 2nd quarter, Tre Boston committed a pass interference on 3rd-and-13 that extended the series. Virginia Tech would hit a 40-yard field goal to get within 4 points.
Both teams eventually settled down and began trading big plays.
2. About those big plays -- North Carolina hit Virginia Tech with several haymakers throughout the game.
Sean Tapley’s 94-yard kickoff return tied the game at 7 early in the contest and further cemented the decline of “Beamer Ball.” The Hokies had not allowed a kickoff return since 1993 against Syracuse and snapped the longest active streak in the NCAA at 237 games.
Starting the 2nd quarter with a 4th-and-1, Larry Fedora elected to go for it and got more than he expected when Giovani Bernard broke off a 62-yard touchdown run. It gave the Heels a 21-14 lead.
Travis Hughes stripped Virginia Tech tailback Michael Holmes and recovered fumble at the Hokies’ 45 yard line. Bryn Renner hit Tapley for a 19-yard touchdown 4 plays later to take a 35-20 lead.
After Virginia Tech failed to convert a 4th-and-10 late in the 3rd quarter, Bernard iced the game with a 51 run where he was eventually pushed out of bounds at the Hokies 13-yard-line. Blue capped the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon and gave the Heels a 45-26 lead.
3. Bernard unlocked a handful of Xbox achievements after rushing for a career-high 262 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. His performance was the firth-highest in North Carolina single-game history and he was the first Tar Heel to rush for over 200 yards in a game since 2003.
Earlier in the week, Bernard told reporters that he wanted to use the contest against Virginia Tech as a statement game. It was loud and clear.
4. While most of the focus in Blacksburg has been on the vanilla offense surrounding Logan Thomas, fans of the Hokies should be more concerned about another lackluster defensive effort. The Tar Heels dropped 533 yards of total offense, including 336 yards on the ground.
North Carolina broke a few scoring marks in the win. The 48 points from the Tar Heels is the most ever against Virginia Tech since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004 and most ever by an ACC opponent since Georgia Tech scored 38 points in 2006. It was also the most points allowed by Virginia Tech since LSU dropped 48 on them in 2007.
5. Now that the ACC ruled that member institutions ineligible for postseason competition due to NCAA sanctions would also be ineligible for regular season or divisional recognition, it would be the most ACC thing ever for North Carolina to actually win the division. None of the teams in the Coastal appear to be head and shoulders above the rest.
When Fedora was asked if that changes any of the team's goals, he simply stated "no."
6. Scissors were found by a Virginia Tech receiver as they were lining up on the field. They must take grass length very seriously in Chapel Hill, but they aren't very meticulous when it comes to cleaning up after themselves.
7. The “White Out” wasn’t a bad concept, but Kenan needed to be full in order to get the desired effect. It certainly made it easier to spot visiting Virginia Tech fans in the crowd.