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Tale of the Tape: Virginia

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Grant Halverson

Here is how UNC matches up with Virginia by the numbers.

North Carolina Virginia
Record 3-4 4-3
ACC Record 1-2 2-1
AP Poll Rank N/R N/R
Points Per Game 38.7 29.0
Total TDs 37 23
Total Offense Per Game 452.3 407.3
Total Offense Per Play 5.7 5.3
Rushing Per Game 152.3 171.7
Rushing Per Att 4.1 4.3
Passing Per Game 300.0 235.6
Passing Per Att 7.1 6.5
Fumbles Lost 4 6
Interceptions 9 9
3rd Down Conv. 44.1% 45.2%
4th Down Conv. 54.5% 50.0%
Red Zone Conv. 93.8% 86.2%
Field Goals 5-8 14-16
Points Allowed Per Game 43.3 22.1
Total Defense Per Game 522.7 331.3
Total Defense Per Play 6.5 4.8
Rushing Per Game 218.0 100.6
Rushing Per Att 4.8 3.0
Passing Per Game 304.7 230.7
Passing Per Att 8.7 6.5
Fumbles Recovered 7 9
Interceptions 9 10
Sacks 12.0 22.0
Tackles for Loss 44.0 46.0
Def. 3rd Down Conv. 49.5% 35.6%
Def. 4th Down Conv. 75.0% 50.0%
Def. Red Zone Conv. 86.7% 91.3%

This is a clear case of strength vs strength. UNC's high powered offense which has finally gotten into a groove and is putting who gaudy numbers versus a Virginia team that allows just 100 yards rushing and less than 30 points per game. Both teams will be tested to see if what they can do best can produce against what the other team does best. For UNC this is especially problematic since the offense is the only hope the Tar Heels have of winning.

This is also a game pitting weakness on weakness. UNC's defense is understood to be awful and the 522.6 yards per game is well ahead of the worst total defense average in Tar Heel history. On the other hand, Virginia's offense is 87th nationally in yards per play allowed. Whereas UNC's offense vs Virginia's defense is a titanic clash between two of the top units in the ACC, UNC's defense vs Virginia's offense will be a battle of which one can make the other one look good for once this season.

Also of note, Virginia has forced 19 turnovers including ten interceptions. UNC QB Marquise Williams has been so-so in taking care of the ball and prone to mistakes while trying to make a play. UVa's penchant for takeaways has the Cavaliers tied for fourth nationally and could be a factor.