Football Bye-Week Theater: Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina Preview


As Boston College football meanders through this bye week, we look at other games going on in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here, we feature Saturday’s Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina game.

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Things were going great this season for the Virginia Tech Hokies and North Carolina Tar Heels, until they weren’t.

Virginia Tech went to the Horseshoe and took down Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 2, then followed it up with home losses to East Carolina and Georgia Tech. As for North Carolina, a team that started 2014 ranked, the aforementioned ECU Pirates dropped a 70-burger on them, with Clemson tacking on 50 more the following week.

When your team scores 41 points per game and still has a negative points differential, that’s bad, right?

One of these teams is going to have three losses and be 0-2 in the ACC after they meet in Chapel Hill this weekend.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina: The Line

Virginia Tech are two-point road favorites. The Hokies opened at -3.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina: Indefensible

The Tar Heels are epic in how terrible on defense they are. Only two FBS teams give up more points per game (44.0), they cough up 543 yards of defense, and they’re on the field almost 35 minutes a game. They are bereft of redeeming qualities, which is great for Virginia Tech, because their offense became very average somewhere along the way.

Hokies quarterback Michael Brewer has nine touchdowns but ten interceptions so far this season as he leads a unit that is hit or miss. They’re not great, but they’re not terrible. Virginia Tech won’t score 50 (except maybe this week), but they won’t be held to single digits, either. To quote George Costanza, they’re “right in that meaty part of the curve.”

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina: Quick Strikes

Marquise Williams and his North Carolina offense are as good at scoring points as his defense is at giving them up. One notable thing about how they operate is their speed.

In fact, North Carolina has 18 touchdown drives this season of three minutes or less. They do not waste any time, which may also be counterproductive since their defense is on the field most of the game, to their detriment.

Meanwhile, Bud Foster’s defense has been fine, though they did slip up late in the Georgia Tech game. The winning field goal was hardly their fault, however, as the offense turned the ball in their own territory.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina: The BC Connection

Boston College faces Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on November 1. The Eagles do not face North Carolina this season.

Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina: Advantages

UNC’s explosive offense might have somewhat of an advantage against the Hokie defense, though Virginia Tech will likely not get gashed. Meanwhile, the Hokie offense is no great shakes but should have a decisive advantage against the Heels defense if they continue imitating Swiss cheese.