Virginia at North Carolina, 12:30 PM, ACC Network
Carolina hits the gridiron in the noon hour for the sixth time in nine games this season, this time taking on Virginia in the South's Oldest Rivalry. The Heels face game one A.B. - After Bryn - following senior quarterback Bryn Renner's career-ending shoulder injury last week in a win against N.C. State. Sophomore Marquise Williams will get his second start of the season (the first was against Virginia Tech when filling in for an injured Renner) as UNC seeks to keep its late-season momentum going.
The Wahoos come in at 2-7 and 0-5 in the ACC. Virginia has lost six straight games, including a 59-10 rout at the hands of Clemson last week. Prior to that blowout, however, the Cavaliers have been in games but have found ways to lose. UVa is very young, having played 12 true freshmen this season. The Hoos have struggled on offense, managing only 21 points per game. Virginia does not run the ball particularly well, which may certainly help UNC given the Heels' difficulty in stopping the run.
Carolina has seemed to find its stride since the heartbreaking loss to Miami, routing Boston College and then gritting out a tough road win at NCSU. While the story of UNC's recent surge has been defense (UNC has not allowed a passing touchdown in 15 quarters), much of Carolina's success was from the kick-start of the offense with the two-quarterback system with Renner and Williams. Williams' playing time in the past few weeks has helped him develop and he is no longer the liability throwing the ball he one was. Carolina's receivers will have to help Williams settle in, and any semblance of a running game will certainly be of assistance as well.
Pretty much every week is an elimination week for UNC's goal of becoming bowl eligible. The Heels can ill afford a slip-up against a fading Virginia team. A less-than-stellar Cavalier defense should provide solid opportunity for Williams to settle in under center and move UNC towards a 2-out-of 3 proposition for post-season contention.
UNC 28, UVA 20