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Classic Standoff

Tyrod Taylor wants to run the football, Everett Withers is glad to let him pass instead.

Defensive coordinator Everett Withers is scheming to make Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor throw the ball, something he did just 14 times last weekend against Georgia Tech. It's no wonder that's the game plan: Withers' secondary intercepted four passes in UNC's win over Rutgers and the Tar Heels are fourth in the conference in pass defense efficiency (106.8). Said Withers: "Our whole objective in this thing is to try to make him beat us with his arm."

Not rocket science here.  UNC got tremendous play out of the secondary/linebackers and that came versus a 3rd year starter at QB in Mike Teel.  So you have a classic standoff here.  UNC will try to everything in their power to stop the run and force Taylor to pass the ball.  Taylor still has some development to do here and the Heels defensive backs will relish the opportunity to go after some poorly thrown balls.  The Hokies on the other hand will make this an ugly ground game which has two effects.  The first is, any mistakes Taylor might make passing are limited and secondly, it keeps the UNC offense, namely Brandon Tate off the field, by eating up the clock.

Games are decided by players making plays, but the chess match between the coaches will be equally important in this one.  Which is usually the case in a contest between to even opponents.