Talk about “The Streak” and Tar Heel-Virginia football. What for an eternity had been the subject of Carolina’s inability to win in Charlottesville (zippo from 1982-2008), now the Heels have the upper hand over the Cavaliers for five years running.
Teams coached by Butch Davis, Everett Withers and now Larry Fedora have thumped Virginia three times on the road and twice in the friendly confines of Kenan Stadium. The South’s oldest rivalry (Carolina holds a 62-53-4 edge since the first game in 1892) reconvenes Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Kenan Stadium.
“Virginia has lost four games but all to ranked teams—UCLA, Notre Dame, Pitt and Boise State,” Fedora said Monday at his weekly news conference. “This is a good football team, and we’re going to have to be ready to play. We’ve put the Wake Forest game to bed and now all our energy is directed toward Virginia.”
The Tar Heels are 5-1 and 2-0 in the ACC and have a nice head of momentum heading into the second half of the year. They rallied from a 21-0 deficit at Georgia Tech three weeks ago and staved off two early interceptions Saturday against Wake Forest to steamroll the Deacons, 50-14.
Still, Fedora frets over a handful of shortcomings he sees in his team:
* The kicking game has been inconsistent, particularly the efforts of freshmen punters Corbin Daly and Hunter Lent;
* The defense struggled to get off the field at times against the Deacons, allowing eight-of-18 third-down conversions;
* And the offense, despite rolling up 528 yards and 9.1 yards a snap, yielded possession twice early in the game on interceptions.
“We’ll remind our guys every day this week to not forget what got us here,” Fedora said. “It’s not like we’ve arrived. We have a lot of work to do. But this is a fun team to coach and to be around.”