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Virginia Tech 26, UNC 10

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If only the game was only 30 minutes long...

UNC took the opening kickoff and shoved it right down Virginia Tech's throat for a quick 7-0 lead. The Tar Heels would not sniff the end zone again and the Hokies, who have been a second half team all season, pummeled Carolina in the final 30 minutes en route to a 26-10 win.

The book on beating Virginia Tech is to make Tyrod Taylor beat you with his arm, and the presumptive ACC Player of the Year obliged, throwing for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Darren Evans and Ryan Williams combined for 174 yards on the ground as the Hokies piled up over 400 yards of total offense.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels destroyed themselves with self-inflicted wound after self-inflicted wound with five turnovers (two of them in the end zone) and completely imploded in the second half with key penalties and four of the five turnovers. And yet Carolina was still in the game early in the 4th quarter until Anthony Elzy, who was UNC's lone offensive bright spot, fumbled the ball out of the end zone. Dwight Jones, who had over 200 yards receiving last week, had one catch for 4 yards against VT and Yates threw at least two of his four .

Defensively, UNC only rushed four in the first half and Taylor seemingly had all day to throw the ball. In the second half, Carolina started bringing pressure but coverages were blown over and over, allowing the Hokies to make big plays. Doomed if you do, doomed if you don't.

The game seemingly turned in the first half on a fluke interception where there was a jump ball in the end zone between Erik Highsmith and VT defender Eddie Whitley, who had his back to the ball the entire play and just ripped the ball away from Highsmith. Instead of a 17-6 UNC lead, the Hokies ended up kicking a field goal to cut the Carolina lead to 10-9. But the Heels also blew a chance on 1st-and-goal at the VT 3-yard line and had to settle for a field goal, so that Whitley interception was not the only crucial play of the first half.

To beat a team like Virginia Tech, UNC needed to bring its A-game, and five turnovers (technically six if you count the muffed punt) is not going to get the job done. It is disappointing because Carolina again is unable to break through against a key divisional opponent, but a division title was a long shot to begin with and Miami's win over Georgia Tech pretty much doomed those hopes before kickoff. Carolina must now collect itself and get straightened out before the Wolfpack comes calling next Saturday at noon.