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Virginia Tech 26, North Carolina 10: Turnovers Fuel Another Hokie Comeback

Once again, nothing is going to come easy for this year's Hokies. Their 6-0 conference record is far from smoke and mirrors, but the way they've gotten there has certainly been nerve-racking and liver-ruining.

One week after the Hokies stumbled out of the gate, got a less than inspiring performance from Tyrod Taylor and used a strong second-half performance by the defense to grind out a come-from-behind win, the Hokies stumbled out of the gate, got a less than inspiring performance from Tyrod Taylor and used a strong second-half performance by the defense to grind out a come-from-behind win.

If it sounds like a broken record, it's because it is. This team, for whatever reason, doesn't know to play well at the beginning of the game. But as we've seen all year, this team just has the moxie when it matters most. 

Tech is now one win away from taking the ACC Coastal, but there's no way it'll waltz their way to Charlotte next week against Miami or possibly in two weeks against UVa. It just not the Hokies' way this year.

Postgame Stream of Consciousness

  • Yep. Another slow start. Nothing to see here. Not that it will eventually bite us. Nope, not at all.
  • After being incredibly accurate for almost all of October, Tyrod Taylor has struggled with it here in November. Against UNC, he missed a lot of passes high, which never got him in trouble. However, he did overthrow to Andre Smith and Danny Coale in the end zone.
  • Tyrod did come through in the second half, though, connecting with Marcus Davis for two touchdowns on two perfectly thrown balls into the end zone.
  • Davis' performance was the game's biggest storyline. After having a potentially long completion negated after juggling the ball when he hit the turf, he entered Beast Mode in the second half, pulling in the two touchdowns and adding two more catches for a team-high 81 yards, including a 46-yard catch and run on the second play of the third quarter.
  • Over half of Tyrod's 249 yards came on three completions to Davis, Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale.
  • Tech never had a consistent run game, but did out-gain the Heels on the ground, 169-117. That's surprising considering how well Anthony Elzy was running for UNC.
  • The Tar Heels went away from Elzy for much of the second half, which benefited the Hokies. They also went away from the short and intermediate passes that had slowly chewed up yards against Virginia Tech. They finally returned to both when they were down 26-10.
  • The most important play of the game was Elzy's goal-line fumble that would have cut the Hokies' lead to 10 with just under 8:00 to play. Though the Hokies quickly wen three-and-out after the turnover, the game was essentially over there.
  • As good a first half as T.J. Yates had, he had an equally disastrous second half. The Hokies intercepted Yates three times in the second half (four in the game) and all came on deep balls. Tech bracketed UNC's deep routes and used backside help from Jayron Hosley to completely neutralize anything down field, especially to Dwight Jones.
  • Jones, the Heels' most dangerous receiver, was held to one catch for four yards. UNC's receivers combined for three catches for 26 yards.
  • UNC's dink and dunk passing game was just as frustrating to watch as Georgia Tech's option game. However, in the end the Hokies defense bent and didn't break, made big plays when it mattered and the offense took advantage of it.
  • A lot of the Hokies' struggles on offense can be attributed to how good UNC's defense is. We'll face another outstanding defense next week in Miami, but I don't think we can rely on the Canes to give us the ball six times, even if Jacory Harris returns at QB.
  • Check Carolina March for the Tar Heel perspective on the game.