Charlottesville, Va – The 15th team in the nation, the North Carolina Tarheels, are coming to town on Saturday as UVA looks to bounce back from their tough loss to Miami last week. Here is our weekly roundup of predictions from the experts.
“Virginia has to find a way to curtail the turnovers if they hope to have a shot at hanging in this contest. The Cavaliers have turned the ball over 13 times in five games this season, leaving them with a -5 margin in the giveaway/takeaway ratio. North Carolina is a +1 in that category having forced six turnovers while committing five but they did get four takeaways last week against NC State.
“The Cavaliers have thrown nine picks on the season and the Tar Heels have five interceptions to go with 15 sacks. Neutralizing Tomon Fox (44 tackles, 12 TFL, seven sacks, forced fumble) and Chazz Surratt (32 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, forced fumble, pass defense, interception) has to be priority one for the Cavaliers’ offensive line.“
“The biggest reason for a projected tight game is the Virginia quarterback situation. Sophomore Brennan Armstrong returned last week against Miami after suffering a concussion during UVA’s game versus NC State. Armstrong is a dual-threat quarterback of the variety that can give Carolina fits Saturday night.
“The lefty quarterback had a strong stat line in their game against #11 Miami. Armstrong went 16-30 for 181 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions through the air and carried the ball 15 times for 91 yards. He was the leading rusher on either team that game.“
“Mack Brown thinks the most recent game is the true identity of this Cavalier team. ‘I sat there and watched every bit of it,” Brown said in referencing the UVa-Miami game on Saturday. “So I was feeling really good after the NC State game until I went to watch Virginia play thinking, ‘They’re struggling man!’ and they’re not struggling. Their quarterback’s back; they look good. They’ve got eight starters back from defense last year.’”
“Sophomore quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw five touchdowns and six interceptions in his first three games of the season before suffering a concussion in the first half against State. He missed the Wake Forest game, but returned against Miami.“