Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Football.
UNC's Offense Adjusting to Personnel Changes
Against Virginia, the Tar Heel offense was without three veterans with 104 career starts to their credit, and it was obvious early with miscues, in the form of penalties and missed assignments. Redshirt freshman Tommy Hatton was making second career start, and his first at left guard, while classmate William Sweet got his first start at right tackle.
ESPN ACC Football Week 8 Power Rankings
With just four ACC games last week, there wasn’t much room to shake up the power rankings. 3. North Carolina Tar Heels: When he avoids major storms, Mitch Trubisky is pretty darned good. Setting aside that loss to Virginia Tech, Trubisky is completing 75 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions.
There just wasn’t a whole lot North Carolina did wrong Saturday. The No. 21 Tar Heels had some poor moments in their 35-14 victory at Virginia, of which are noted below, but for the most part, none were ultimately costly in the grand scheme of things. Here are some concerns from the Tar Heels’ 6th win in 8 games, and 4th in 5 ACC contests:
Carolina cavalry: UNC’s Bug Man answers the call
With Mack Hollins out, another veteran wideout has stepped up for the Tar Heels: Bug Howard. Howard donned the No. 13 jersey on Saturday versus Virginia to honor Hollins. That number was called a lot throughout the day. The 6-5 Howard hauled in seven receptions for a team-leading 109 yards and a touchdown in UNC’s 35-14 victory over the Cavaliers.
UNC Defense Just Doing Its Job
The sentiment among UNC's defensive players on Saturday was that a more complete buy-in to "doing your job" has resulted in an overall better performance from the unit. Cornerback Des Lawrence told CarolinaBlue that once each defensive player embraced and understood this concept, the unit has flourished. Not trying to do too much has been the key.
Extra Points: See The Game
Gene Chizik speaks of “seeing the game well.” He first sensed it with this year’s UNC defense in the first half of the victory in Tallahassee in early October—few busts in assignments and limited confusion with players recognizing the formations and tendencies of the Seminoles. The Tar Heels saw things very well again Saturday at Virginia in a decisive 35-14 victory.
UNC avoids repeating past at Scott Stadium
The University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium has been the scene for some of the most heartbreaking defeats in North Carolina football history. Take, for instance, the 1993 contest decided with 1:18 left when Virginia’s Charles Way scored on a 1-yard plunge to give the Cavaliers a 17-10 upset of the No. 12-ranked Tar Heels.
UNC-Virginia postgame notes
The seven-game win streak is UNC’s longest against the Cavaliers since winning nine in a row from 1974-82. UNC is now bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season. The win was UNC’s 700th all-time victory. The Tar Heels’ all-time record is 700-521-54. UNC has won 17 of its last 21 games, including 12 of 13 ACC regular season games.
Turner's Take: Go Go Gadget Play
Bug Howard knew when he saw Virginia safety Quin Blanding creep forward that the play was going to work. T.J. Logan took the snap and handed the ball to Ryan Switzer. Howard was streaking toward the end zone. "As soon as [T.J.] handed the ball off to Switz and number three (Blanding) just shot the gap," Howard said, "I was like, 'Yep, there it is.'"
Larry Fedora Post-Virginia Notes & Quotes
Larry Fedora spoke with the media for about 10 minutes following UNC's 35-14 win over Virginia on Saturday night in Charlottesville Scott Stadium. The Carolina head coach touched on the defense, both teams' trick plays, Bug Howard's number change, and the plan for the bye week. "The defense held them to 3-of-19 on third down. That is huge."
Tar Heels ease back into offensive rhythm without Hollins
UNC's 35-14 win against Virginia earned the No. 22 Tar Heels bowl eligibility, but more importantly confirmed the team's offensive capability without Mack Hollins. UNC overcame a first half that coach Larry Fedora deemed inconsistent offensively to show its ability to produce, even without standout receiver Hollins, who broke his collarbone a week earlier.
Mitch Trubisky on UNC's key trick play
Mitch Trubisky's 40 yard touchdown bomb to Bug Howard, put UNC up 14-7 against Virginia heading into the half. It got North Carolina's offense and momentum back on track. Trubisky broke it down in more simple terms: "Switz gets the hand off, pitches it to me, and I bomb it to Bug." "I have been waiting on them to call it," Trubisky added.
UNC Starts Slowly, Finishes Strong In 35-14 Win at Virginia
Despite a slow start, the No. 22 UNC football team eventually outclassed its opponents in every possible way on Saturday—defeating the Virginia Cavaliers 35-14 in Charlottesville for the team’s ninth straight win on the road. Now 6-2 with a 4-1 ACC mark, the Tar Heels received yet another solid performance from junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Video: Bronco Mendenhall Post-UNC Press Conference
Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall speaks with the media following the Cavaliers' 35-14 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday in Charlottesville.
Video: Larry Fedora Post-Virginia Interview
Larry Fedora speaks with Jones Angell and breaks down the Tar Heels' play following the Tar Heels' 35-14 win over Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville.