When the Virginia Cavaliers take the field on Saturday, they’ll be trying to ride the high of their first win the last time out. Meanwhile, a North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels squad eyeing an ACC Championship (at least) will try to kill any momentum that the Cavaliers have. Divisions may not exist in the ACC anymore, but this contest will continue a string of annual meetings dating back to 1919.
Anything can happen when these schools cross paths. Will the Cavaliers spoil a UNC season that has been spectacular thus far?
— Carolina Football (@UNCFootball) October 17, 2023
Virginia Cavaliers vs. #10 North Carolina Tar Heels Odds and Match Details
|*Odds Subject to Change|
Fixture: Virginia Cavaliers @ North Carolina Tar Heels
Date and Time: October 21, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Location: Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Field Surface: RootZone 3D Blend AstroTurf
Weather: Clear, Slightly Windy, and 50 Degrees
Virginia is 1-5, 0-2 in ACC play, and 0-4 against Power Five foes this season. It begins with a defense that is giving up 31.8 points per game (last among ACC schools). On the ground, the Cavaliers surrender 4.4 yards per carry and 177.0 yards per game. Through the air, opponents are only picking up 202.8 yards per game but 7.1 yards per attempt. They’ve only held one team under 24 points entering Saturday’s game.
As for the offense, they score 22.4 points per game, another number that’s the worst among conference rivals. Virginia’s measly 99.5 rushing yards per game isn’t helping them succeed at all. Malik Washington is a star wide receiver with the eighth-most receiving yards nationally. However, his 44 catches, 668 yards, and five touchdowns have only led to one 30-point performance for Virginia.
#10 UNC Tar Heels
North Carolina walks into Kenan Stadium undefeated, thanks to a high-octane offense. The Tar Heels gain the eighth-most yards per game, 501.3, and the 15th-most points, 37.3. Drake Maye is 12th in passing yards, Omarion Hampton is 15th in rushing yards, and UNC has at least 31 points in every game they’ve played. This is an elite offense.
The Tar Heels aren’t dominant defensively, but holding opponents to 21.0 points per game gives that offense plenty of room to work with. 16 sacks and nine interceptions help offset the damage of allowing 245.8 passing yards per game. On the ground, UNC is limiting foes to 3.6 yards per carry without allowing a rushing play of at least 30 yards yet. They gave up 31 points last weekend, so this group will be eyeing a bounce-back performance.
Let’s see: the worst defense (scoring-wise) in the ACC is taking on one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. That same Virginia team will field an offense scoring fewer points than every other school in the conference. All of this will occur on the road.
Maybe it’s disrespectful to the history of this rivalry, but Saturday’s game shouldn’t be close. Based on what these schools have shown us, the Cavaliers don’t belong on the same field as the Tar Heels. Expect UNC to cruise to victory.