The Virginia Cavaliers will face the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road in what looks to be a big game in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers have started the season 2-0 and are coming off a 42-14 victory over Illinois while the Tar Heels stumbled out of the gate, losing 17-10 to Virginia Tech but are coming off a 59-17 win over Georgia State. This game looks to be a good one featuring two programs that are heading in the right direction and look to make noise in the ACC this season.
Virginia hopes defense can lead the wayThe Cavaliers are off to a promising start going 2-0 and looking to be competitive in the ACC this season. The offense has stepped up in the first two games, scoring 42.5 points per game, led by a passing attack that is averaging 381 passing yards per game with quarterback Brennan Armstrong having a great season under center, throwing 744 passing yards and seven touchdowns in the first two games. Armstrong has plenty of targets in the passing game as well with five skill players already over 100 receiving yards on the season and Dontayvion Wicks leading the group with 163 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The hope is that the running game can help put the offense over the top as the unit averages 170.5 yards on the ground per game with Wayne Taulapapa leading the group with 83 rushing yards.
While the offense has played well in the first two games, the defense has led the way, allowing only 14 points on the season thus far. Linebackers Noah Taylor and Nick Jackson are making plays all over the field with 32 combined tackles and 2 sacks by Taylor while safety Joey Blount is making plays in the box and the second level with 15 tackles as well. The Cavaliers defense is particularly led by their secondary as the defense is only allowing 155 passing yards per game and while the defense only has one interception on the season thus far, the duo of Nick Grant and Anthony Jackson have combined for 4 passes defended so far this season.
North Carolina turns to potent offense to win gamesThe Tar Heels lost a tough opening game against a good Virginia Tech program but have since rebounded and look poised to have a strong season in the ACC after going 8-4 last season. The hope is that the offense continues to dominate as the unit is scoring 34.5 points per game including 59 last week. The passing attack, in particular, has been one of the toughest to stop in College Football, averaging 307 passing yards per game. The Tar Heels are led by one of the best quarterbacks in College Football in Sam Howell, who has 560 passing yards and four passing touchdowns while also adding 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground this season but Howell has plenty of options in the passing game as well, with Josh Downs, Antione Green, and Emery Simmons combining for 452 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
While the offense carries the Tar Heels, the hope is that the defense can continue to play well as the unit is only allowing 17 points per game. The defense is led by a strong pass defense in particular allowing only 129 passing yards per game while safety Ja'Qurious Conley and linebackers Power Echols both have an interception this season. In addition to being great in the pass defense, Conley has limited big plays from the opposition throughout the season along with linebacker Eugene Asante who have combined for 23 tackles this season.