UNC vs. Virginia Preview
UNC (2-0) vs. Virginia (2-0)
Place: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Tar Heels are looking for their first 3-0 start since 2009 against the undefeated Cavaliers which would be the first time since 2000 that they started off 1-0 in the conference. In the 116th meeting between the two schools in the "Oldest Rivalry in the South", the Heels lead the all time series 58-53-4. The Cavaliers have won the last two games in Kenan Stadium and 7 out of the last 9, so North Carolina will have their hands full despite being favorites.
Virginia is led by quarterback Michael Rocco who is carrying a quarterback rating of 108.0. Rocco is yet to throw a touchdown pass and has thrown two interceptions on the season but has a 62.1 percent completion percentage. Perry Jones has caught 7 of his passes for 102 yards while Tim Smith has grabbed 7 for 72 yards. The Wahoos are led on the ground by Kevin Parks who has scored 5 touchdowns in two games with 151 yards rushing. Perry Jones has chipped in with 134 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Virginia has been stingy against the run giving up only 98 yards per game. The team has outscored their opponents by a 74-34 margin on the season.
Kris Burd has moved to number 14 in career receiving yards for the Cavaliers at 1329. He had 4 100 yard receiving games last season. Perry Jones fumbled last week for the first time in his career. He had carried the ball 170 times without a fumble prior.
After a fast start by quarterback Bryn Renner in the first game of the season, he found things a little more difficult against Rutgers last week. Renner threw three interceptions in that game but has thrown the ball at an 85.7 completion percentage. He has a quarterback rating of 183,9 and has compiled 550 yards passing on the season.
Gio Bernard has stepped up at the running back position for North Carolina with 145 yards rushing in two games with 4 touchdowns. Dwight Jones has been lethal at wide receiver with 251 yards receiving on 15 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Erik Highsmith has grabbed 7 passes on the season for 79 yards.
The Tar Heels lead the league in rush defense (30.0 per game) which is third in the Country. They also lead the ACC in sacks which ranks seventh in the Country. As efficient as their defense has been, they are yet to turn the ball over while the offense has 6 turnovers on the season.
Running back, Ryan Houston has 18 touchdowns in his last 27 games which places him 2nd in all returning ACC rushers with 19. Place Kicker, Casey Barth has converted on 80 consecutive extra points and has made 51 of his 63 field goals attempted in his career.
Interim Head Coach, Everett Withers looks for the first ACC victory of his career. The game marks only the second time in ACC history that between two African-American coaches. The Cavaliers are coached by Mike London.