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Tale of the Tape: UNC-Virginia

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

A statistical look at UNC's match-up with Virginia this weekend.

When UNC has the ball

UNC(Offense) Virginia(Defense)
Points per game 40.5 36.2
Yards per game 482.2 413.0
Yards per play 7.57 6.1
Passing yards 263.7 252.2
Passing YPA 9.4 8.0
Rushing Yards 218.5 160.8
Rushing YPA 6.15 4.5
Turnovers 7 4
3rd Down Conv. 50.75% 34.9%
4th Down Conv. 50.00% 54.6%
Red Zone Conv. 84.62% 76.9%

When UNC is on defense

UNC(Defense) Virginia(Offense)
Points per game 17.3 25.8
Yards per game 349.3 356.5
Yards per play 4.85 5.3
Passing yards 135.5 244.3
Passing YPA 5.5 7.3
Rushing Yards 213.83 112.2
Rushing YPA 4.52 3.4
Turnovers 8 12
3rd Down Conv. 41.30% 42.2%
4th Down Conv. 50.00% 50.0%
Red Zone Conv. 76.47% 93.3%

One fairly important caveat to remember here. Virginia has played several good teams so far so if the defensive numbers don't look great that one be a factor in that. Virginia has given up over 400 yards in three games this season those coming against UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State. Against UCLA and Notre Dame, UVa gave up over seven yard per play and against Boise State 6.5 yards per play. Pittsburgh managed 6.15 yards per play against th Cavaliers while Syracuse and William & Mary hovered around five yards. In short, Virginia has struggled against good teams which begs the question: Is 5-1 UNC a good team.

They have certainly fit the bill so far and the offense has humming like a well oiled machine for the most part. UNC should put up numbers similar to the "good teams" on Virginia's schedule, that is providing a consistent Marquise Williams shows up. The Cavaliers have been dreadful against the pass surrendering 8.0 yards per play. That is tied for 106th nationally. The Cavaliers are better against the run at 79th nationally with opponents getting 4.48 yards per attempt. That would seem to point to more passing than running though UNC is best when Elijah Hood is making noise.

On the flip side, Virginia is 119th in rushing offense getting just 3.35 yards per carry. That bodes well for UNC considering the struggles the Tar Heels have had stopping the run. If Virginia is forced to pass it more, it plays into the hands(possibly literally) of UNC's top ten pass defense.