North Carolina-Virginia Preview Capsule

No. 22 North Carolina (5-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Virginia (2-4, 1-1), 3 p.m. (Regional Sports Networks)

Line: North Carolina by 9.

Series Record: North Carolina leads 62-54-4.


The Tar Heels lead the Coastal Division and have already played the most difficult part of their schedule. If they keep winning, they have an inside track on a berth in the conference championship game unless Virginia Tech also finishes with one loss because the Hokies beat the Tar Heels 34-3 earlier this month. The Cavaliers are hoping to make a bowl game in Bronco Mendenhall’s first season, and need to win four of their last six.


Mitch Trubisky against the Virginia defense. Trubisky has thrown for 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions, and if the Cavaliers can’t get any pressure, he and Ryan Switzer might have a field day. Trubisky’s poorest game came in monsoon-like conditions and he threw two interceptions in a 34-3 loss to Virginia Tech.


North Carolina: WR Ryan Switzer. The senior is averaging a league-best 8.3 catches per game and is second in the league in receiving yards (86.6 per game). He’s also a threat to break a big punt return at any time. He will be even more at the forefront of UNC’s offense with senior deep threat Mack Hollins lost for the season with a broken right collarbone.

Virginia: QB Kurt Benkert. The first-year starter has been very good at times, but has also thrown at least one interception in all six of his starts. Against a more talented and deeper team like the Tar Heels, the Cavaliers can ill afford turnovers.


The Tar Heels have won six straight in the series for the first time since winning nine in a row from 1974-82. … UNC is looking for its 700th all-time win. … The Tar Heels have won eight straight true road games dating to November 2014, tied for the fourth-longest streak in the country. … UNC has won 16 of its last 20 games overall and 11 of 12 regular-season ACC games. … The Tar Heels have won three straight in Charlottesville. … The Cavaliers have never beaten a team coached by Larry Fedora, going 0-4 against him with the Tar Heels and 0-2 against him when he was at Southern Miss. … Virginia’s top two receivers, Keeon Johnson (31 catches) and Olam ide Zaccheaus (29) have combined for two more receptions than Switzer. … This will be the 121st meeting in the sereies, tied with Miami, Ohio and Cincinnati for the second-most among teams in the Bowl Subdivision.

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