Virginia Tech Hokies (5-2, 3-1) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-3, 0-3)
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT (Last EDT of the year. Remember to fall back, folks.)
Date: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009
Place: Lane Stadium/Worsham Field (66,233), Blacksburg, Va.
TV: ESPN (DirecTV 206)
North Carolina: The Tar Heels lost an 18-point lead last week in their 30-27 loss to Florida State ... they are 4-0 against non-conference opponents (The Citadel, at UConn, ECU, Georgia Southern) and 0-3 against ACC teams (at GT, UVa, FSU) this season ... going into last week's game, the Tar Heels were averaging 1.4 yards per carry and 28.0 rushing yards per conference game ... however, after 238 rush yards on 41 carries (5.8 ypc) against FSU, they now average 3.6 yards per carry and 98.0 yards per conference game ... UNC is allowing 5.1 ypp and 336.0 ypg in three league games.
Trends: Virginia Tech lost its last game against Georgia Tech after winning five consecutive games ... North Carolina has lost three of its last four games after winning its first three ... Virginia Tech has won 12 consecutive home games ... its last home loss came Oct. 25, 2007 against BC ... the Tar Heels have lost five of their last six league games ... under Butch Davis, UNC is 2-7 on the road in the ACC ... since ACC expansion in 2004, the Tar Heels are 1-13 in league road games outside of the state of North Carolina (they won at Miami last year) ... Virginia Tech is 18-4 at home since joining the ACC.
History Lesson: The Hokies are 16-9-6 all-time against the Tar Heels and 5-1 against them under Frank Beamer ... Tech has won the last five meetings between the two teams ... the last time UNC beat Tech was 42-3 in the 1998 Gator Bowl ... prior to that Gator Bowl, the teams hadn't met since 1946 ... before UNC's conference game in Blacksburg in 2005, the two teams hadn't met in Blacksburg since 1930 ... 19 of the first 26 meetings between the Tar Heels and Hokies came on a neutral field (2 in Blacksburg, 5 in Chapel Hill).
What to Expect:
- Expect the Hokies to need a big game from Tyrod Taylor. The Tar Heels have a solid defensive front and play well against the run (2.9 ypc vs. I-A teams). However, Christian Ponder was able to run for key first downs last week and throw for nearly 400 yards.
- Expect the Hokies to shut down North Carolina's run game. Tech prefers to give up its big plays through the air, thank you very much.
- Expect this game to give us a good idea how the rest of the season will go for the Hokies.
- Expect me to have to apologize to the people seated around me at the game. I'm going to enjoy my one trip to Blacksburg of the season.
Hokies win if: Tyrod goes off and the Hokies exploit the Heels' weak offensive line.
Tar Heels win if: They force turnovers and keep TJ Yates off his back.
Dot-dot-dots: In its five Thursday night home games since joining the ACC, the Hokies are 4-1 ... in those games, they have allowed 183 rushing yards on 115 carries ... that's 36.6 yards per game and 1.6 yards per carry ... Clemson's 80 rushing yards in 2006 is the most in one game in that span ... Thursday is Orange Effect in Lane Stadium ... last year the team wore Orange jerseys in honor of Orange Effect.
North Carolina Links