Wahoo Preview, Game 9: No. 17 North Carolina at Virginia

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

The “South’s Oldest Rivalry” renews at noon Saturday, when 17th-ranked North Carolina visits Virginia for the 127th meeting between the two schools (ACC Network).

Carolina (7-1, 4-0 ACC) will be the first ranked opponent the Cavaliers (3-5, 1-4) have faced this season. The Tar Heels, 7-point favorites by the oddsmakers, are looking to go 5-0 on the road for the first time in 25 years. However, UNC coach Mack Brown has never won in Charlottesville (0-for-6) in two stints as coach of the Heels.

UVA is 23-7 since 2018 at Scott Stadium, but only 2-2 at home this season.

The game will pit the hottest quarterback in the ACC in 2022 against the hottest QB in the league in 2021, when UNC freshman Drake Maye battles UVA senior Brennan Armstrong.

It was Armstrong that enjoyed a brilliant campaign a year ago, when he led the nation in passing for most of the season. He threw for a Virginia single-game record 554 yards against Carolina last season in Chapel Hill in a losing effort. UNC prevailed 59-39.

Meanwhile, Maye has drawn raves this season in leading a Tar Heels offense that is averaging 502 yards per game. Maye has already passed for 2,671 yards and 29 touchdowns, while only being intercepted three times.

Armstrong needs just 101 yards to hit the career 10,000-yard total-offense plateau, which would make him one of only 15 players in ACC history to reach that mark.

Virginia’s defense hasn’t given up a touchdown over the last eight quarters, but will be severely tested by Phil Longo’s UNC offensive attack. Meanwhile, Carolina’s defense is among the worst in Power 5 football and will play some new faces in the wake of losing some starters to injury last week, including former UVA linebacker Noah Taylor, who was UNC’s leading sack man. Taylor suffered a season-ending injury in last week’s win over Pitt.

For more UVA-UNC game-week coverage, check out our Football archives here, and you can also listen to two separate versions of The Jerry Ratcliffe Show podcast previewing the contest — one with Andrew Jones, publisher of Tar Heel Illustrated, and one from the Virginia angle with co-host Chris Graham.

The Statistical Breakdown

Head Coaches

Virginia
Tony Elliott
At UVA — 3-5 (first season)
Career — 3-5 (first season)

North Carolina
Mack Brown
At UNC — 97-64-1 (14th season)
Career — 272-140-1 (34th season)

Broadcast Information

TV: ACC Network
Announcers: Wes Durham (play-by-play), Roddy Jones (analyst), Taylor Davis (sideline)

Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network
Announcers: John Freeman (play-by-play), Tony Covington (analyst), Jay James (sideline)

Satellite Radio:
SiriusXM — 134 or 194
SXM App — 956

Kickoff Forecast

Intermittent clouds, 71 degrees
RealFeel — 71 degrees
Precipitation —49%
Wind — S 9 mph
Humidity — 75%
(Courtesy AccuWeather)

UVA Depth Chart

Offense
WR — 3 Dontayvion Wicks (6-2, 208 Jr.)
6 Demick Starling (6-0, 188 Jr.)
LT — 68 Logan Taylor (6-6, 300 So.)
52 McKale Boley (6-4, 331 Fr.)
79 Colby McGhee (6-3, 206 So.)
LG — 76 John Paul Flores (6-4, 308 Gr.)
77 Noah Josey (6-5, 316 So.)
C — 78 Jestus Johnson (6-3, 306 So.)
51 Ty Furnish (6-3, 279 So.)
RG — 67 Derek Devine (6-6, 295 Sr.)
71 Zach Teter (6-5, 314 Jr.)
RT — 64 Jonathan Leech (6-5, 291 Sr.)
75 Houston Curry (6-5, 270 Fr.)
TE — 85 Grant Misch (6-6, 247 Sr.)
44 Sackett Wood (6-4, 244 Jr.)
QB — 5 Brennan Armstrong (6-2, 210 Sr.)
16 Jay Woolfolk (5-11, 208 So.)
TB — 2 Perris Jones (5-7, 180 Sr.)
7 Mike Hollins (5-9, 208 Jr.)
WR — 99 Keytaon Thompson (6-5, 216 Gr.)
4 Billy Kemp IV (5-9, 176 5th) or
26 Ethan Davies (5-10, 189 So.)
WR — 1 Lavel Davis (6-7, 219 Jr.)
86 Sean Wilson (6-4, 219 Fr.)

Defense
DE — 82 Kam Butler (6-3, 265 Gr.)
1 Paul Akere (6-4, 258 Gr.)
NT — 90 Jahmeer Carter (6-2, 313 Jr.)
19 Olasunkonmi Agunloye (6-5, 283 Jr.)
95 Devonte Davis (6-4, 306 Gr.)
DT — 94 Aaron Faumui (6-2, 282 Sr.)
10 Ben Smiley (6-4, 274 Jr.)
18 Michael Diatta (6-4, 268 So.)
Bandit — 15 Chico Bennett Jr. (6-4, 252 Sr.)
91 Jack Camper (6-5, 252 Gr.)
MIKE — 6 Nick Jackson (6-1, 234 Sr.)
41 D’Sean Perry (6-3, 230 Jr.) or
30 Stevie Bracey (6-0, 231 Fr.)
WILL — 7 James Jackson (6-3, 228 So.)
33 Josh Ahern (6-3, 234 Jr.)
13 Hunter Stewart (6-3, 242 Jr.)
LC — 23 Fentrell Cypress (6-0, 184 Jr.)
22 Elijah Gaines (6-1, 201 So.)
RC — 3 Anthony Johnson (6-2, 205 Gr.)
26 Jaylon Baker (6-2, 187 Sr.)
SPUR — 20 Jonas Sanker (6-1, 204 So.)
8 Darrius Bratton (6-0, 193 Gr.)
FS — 9 Coen King (6-0, 191 Sr.)
27 Lex Long (6-3, 215 So.)
21 Donovan Johnson (6-2, 200 So.)
SS — 0 Antonio Clary (6-0, 199 Sr.)
5 Chayce Chalmers (6-1, 213 Jr.)

Special Teams
P — 38 Daniel Sparks (6-6, 203 Jr.)
PK — 17 Will Bettridge (5-10, 173 Fr.)
40 Brendan Farrell (6-0, 209 Sr.)
KO — 40 Brendan Farrell (6-0, 209 Sr.)
Hold — 13 Jared Rayman (6-2, 195 Jr.)
LS — 45 Aidan Livingston (5-11, 229 Gr.)
62 Lee Dudley (6-0, 225 Gr.)
PR — 4 Billy Kemp IV (5-9, 176 5th)
26 Ethan Davies (5-10, 189 So.)
KOR — 7 Mike Hollins (5-9, 208 Jr.)
6 Demick Starling (6-0, 188 Jr.)

ACC Standings and Schedule

 

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