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UVA and UNC Clash Saturday in ACC tilt

Oct. 9, 2017

 Virginia at North Carolina • #UVAvsUNC
Date/Time Sat., Oct. 14, 2017 | 3:30 p.m.
Location Chapel Hill, N.C. | Kenan Stadium (63,000)
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Coach Mendenhall Monday Press Conference Transcript

The South’s Oldest Rivalry
• Virginia and North Carolina will meet for the 122nd time in the South’s Oldest Rivalry, a series that began in 1892.

Virginia vs. North Carolina
• UVA trails the all-time series with North Carolina, 63-54-4. 
• There is a difference in the series record between the two schools because of the game in 1956 that North Carolina forfeited for using an ineligible player. All of UNC’s games in 1956 were forfeited by conference action. Both schools count the 1956 game as a win.
• Saturday’s game will tie the rivalry for the second-longest series in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history.
• The two schools have met every season since 1919 and there have been only four seasons since 1900 when they did not meet (1906, 1909 and 1917-18, when football was postponed at both schools because of World War I).

Five Top Storylines
• The Cavaliers have faced the Tar Heels more than any other school (121) in program history.
• QB Kurt Benkert has started 15 career games for the Cavaliers and in eight of those starts he has thrown for at least three touchdowns.
• ILB Micah Kiser has registered 48 combined tackles, four sacks, one fumble recovery and three pass breakup over UVA’s last four games.
• UVA is 4-1 for the first time since the 2007 season (started 7-1). The Cavaliers are looking to start ACC play 2-0 for only the fourth time since 2007 (2007, 2009, 2014) when UVA started league play 4-0.
• UVA limited Duke’s offense to 255 yards of total offense last Saturday, marking the fewest yards allowed against an opponent since 2013 when the Cavaliers held Pitt to 199 yards of total offense. Duke entered the game averaging 445.8 yards of total offense a game.

The Most Offense Typically Wins
• In UVA vs. UNC games since 1940, the winning team has out-rushed the loser 57 of 74 times, with one game featuring the same yardage for both.
• The winning team has had more offensive yards 68 times and has been outgained just 15 times since 1940. UVA was the most recent team (2014) to outgain UNC and lose (443-374).
• The loser has outgained the winner just eight times since 1975, but it has happened six times in the last 16 years, including in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.

... On the Ground
•  Since 2006, the Tar Heels have averaged 138.7 rushing yards per game vs. the Cavaliers, with UVA winning five of the last 11 meetings.
• Since 1996, UNC has scored 17 rushing touchdowns with three coming in 2015 and two coming in 1997, 2011 and 2016. In contrast, UVA has scored 30 times on the ground in that span. 
• In the last 21 games, UNC’s offense has scored 51 touchdowns, with 35 coming in six games (1997, 2002, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), while the defense has scored nine touchdowns (eight interceptions and one punt return).

Turnovers Make a Difference
• Since 1982, the Cavaliers are 15-3-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the Tar Heels. The losses occurred in 1995, 2001 and 2016, while the tie was in 1984.
• Over the last nine years, North Carolina has committed 15 turnovers, while UVA has committed 20 (which includes 10 combined from the 2010 & 2015 games).
• North Carolina is 10-2 vs. Virginia when committing fewer turnovers. 
• There have been four games since 1982 where each team committed the same number of miscues and Virginia has won three (1985, 1988, 2003).

First Family Takes in 1928 Meeting
• President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, attended the 1928 Virginia vs. North Carolina Thanksgiving Day football game at UVA’s Lambeth Field. The President was joined by the governors of both Virginia (Gov. Harry F. Byrd) and North Carolina (H.W. Chase). Over 20,000 spectators attended UNC’s 24-20 win 89 years ago. Lambeth Field’s grandstand only sat 8,000. Additional temporary bleachers helped hold the overflow crowd. 

Nature of the Rivalry
• There is a strong historical lineage and academic standing between UVA and UNC.
• UVA was founded by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, while UNC was the first operational state university in the United States.
• UVA had its writer-in-residence William Faulkner, while UNC is the alma mater of Thomas Wolfe. 
• President Woodrow Wilson attended UVA and was president of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, while President James K. Polk attended UNC.
• UVA and UNC were also the first future members of the ACC to be elected to the prestigious Association of American Universities. UVA was elected in 1904 and UNC in 1922. 
• UVA was the opponent for the dedication game at UNC’s Kenan Stadium in 1927.
• Kenan Stadium was used as a model by the designers of Scott Stadium.

UVA In Midst of a three-game winning streak
• UVA has a three-game winning streak for the first time since the 2011 season when the Cavaliers reeled off a four-game winning streak en route to an 8-4 regular season finish.
• It is only UVA’s fifth winning streak of three games or more since winning seven in a row in 2007.

Snowden Comes Up Big Late against Duke
• OLB Charles Snowden played two defensive plays in crunch time against Duke and made the most of them. He was on the field on UVA’s last two defensive plays, one being a 3rd and 6 where he dropped Duke quarterback Daniel Jones for a loss of 10. The sack was his first career solo sack and set up a 4th and 16 last ditch effort for the Blue Devils.
• Snowden also was on the field for the 4th and 16 play, providing pressure on the pass play Juan Thornhill broke up to secure the victory.
• Snowden played four total defensive plays against Duke, as well as playing on kickoff and punt return.
• Snowden made his collegiate debut at Boise State late in the game. He and fellow true freshman Elliott Brown shared a sack in Boise.

UVA’s Third-Down Offense
• UVA is ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC in third down offense with a success rate of 49.4 percent.
• QB Kurt Benkert is 35-of-55 passing (63 percent) on third down, collecting 25 first downs and two touchdowns.
• Benkert is 31-of-51 passing (61 percent) when its 3rd and 6, or greater, connecting on 22 first downs and two touchdowns.

Third-Down Defense Stellar Late against Duke
• UVA’s defense held Duke to 0-of-6 on third down in the second half and 0-of-1 on fourth down last week.
• Duke was 5-of-11 on third down in the first half, including 4-of-6 the second quarter.

Third-Down Defense Has been Strong in 2017
• UVA is No. 11 in the nation and No. 5 in the ACC in third-down defense, allowing a 26.8 success rate.
• UVA is holding opponents to 7-of-44 (.159) on third downs where the yardage is six yards or greater.

Ellis Ran Hard in Fourth Quarter against Duke
• UVA’s rushing offensive by Jordan Ellis helped eat clock and secure victory against Duke last week.
• Ellis rushed seven times for 33 yards (4.7 per carry) and two first downs in the fourth quarter, helping seal the ACC victory.


 

 

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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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