Virginia Utilizes Dominating Defense to Defeat North Carolina, 23-0

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Chris Gould celebrates with teammate John Phillips after kicking his third field goal. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Chris Gould celebrates with teammate John Phillips after kicking his third field goal. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 19, 2006

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jason Snelling ran for 131 yards and a touchdown, Jameel Sewell was again sharp at quarterback and Virginia's defense played its best game of the season Thursday night in a 23-0 victory over North Carolina.

Snelling carried 19 times against a defense that came into the game allowing more than 200 rushing yards per game, 113th out of 119 Division I-A schools. Sewell gained another 40 yards, including an 18-yard TD run, as Virginia (3-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 13th consecutive home game in the South's oldest rivalry.

It was the 111th meeting, the fifth-oldest rivalry in the Division I-A.

The Tar Heels (1-6, 0-4), whose only victory was a 45-42 nailbiter against Division I-AA Furman, still haven't won at Scott Stadium since 1981. North Carolina ran for 98 yards, passed for 84 and had eight penalties and 11 first downs.

Snelling, who has drawn criticism as the top back in a ground game averaging just 92 yards coming in, had 61 yards by halftime and punished the Tar Heels all game. He had bruising runs of 25 and 17 yards, and a 5-yard touchdown run that capped the scoring.

Just as he had been a week earlier, when Virginia outscored Maryland 20-0 in the first half only to lose 28-26, Sewell came out sharp, showing signs that the coaching staff's patience with the redshirt freshman is starting to pay off. He finished the half 11-for-18, but had at least four other passes dropped, including one by Kevin Ogletree as he split defenders downfield with lots of open space in front of him.

But with the defense playing well and Sewell seemingly more in control than in his four previous starts, the missteps only delayed assuring their second win in six games.

The Cavaliers kept the Tar Heels off the board in the first quarter when Chris Cook caused a fumble by Ronnie McGill at the Virginia 21 and Jeffrey Fitzgerald recovered.


 

 

Cook also intercepted a pass to set up a 19-yard, fourth-quarter TD drive, and the Cavaliers halted another drive when Joe Dailey's swing pass that went behind Brooks Foster was ruled a lateral and Nate Lyle recovered for Virginia at its own 45.

Four plays later, after a dump off pass to Tom Santi went for 30 yards to the Tar Heels 21, Sewell rolled right on the option, kept the ball and cut upfield for the touchdown, his second in two games. Last week, he scored on a 36-yard draw play.

Sewell finished 17-for-25 for 166 yards and connected with eight receivers.

The Cavaliers kept the Tar Heels off the board when Chris Cook caused a fumble by Ronnie McGill at the Virginia 21 and Jeffrey Fitzgerald recovered for the Cavaliers.

Cook also intercepted a pass to set up a 19-yard, fourth-quarter TD drive, and the Cavaliers halted another drive when Joe Dailey's swing pass that went behind Brooks Foster was ruled a lateral and Nate Lyle recovered for Virginia at its own 45.

Four plays later, after a dump off pass to Tom Santi went for 30 yards to the Tar Heels 21, Sewell rolled right on the option, kept the ball and cut upfield for the touchdown, his second in as many game. Last week, he scored on a 36-yard draw play.

The Cavaliers drove deep into North Carolina territory three times in the first half, but came away only with field goals of 31, 43 and 43 yards by Chris Gould.