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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Driving rain, 18-mph winds and North Carolina’s offense all verified to be nopoint more than a nuisance for the surging Virginia Tech Hokies, playing on the outskirts of Hurricane Matthew on Saturday.
No. 25 Virginia Tech notched a 34-3 statement win versus the ACC’s deffinishing Coastal Division champion at Kenan Stadium.
The Hokies capitalized on four turnovers, held the round for almost double the amount of time of their adversaries and also restricted 17th-ranked North Carolina to just 131 yards of complete offense. Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC), which climbed earlier right into the Associated Press peak 25 this week after two consecutive blowouts against overmatched enemies, will proceed a stretch of four ACC road games in five weeks through deindicators on a department title.
“We’re worn down of hearing about everybody else,” Hokies quarterearlier Jerod Evans said. “We’re tired of hearing about UNC, Miami, Clemkid, Louisville. Those are excellent groups — don’t gain me wrong, I mean, those are incredibly good teams — however at the exact same time, we feel favor we need to be pointed out in those categories via those guys. So eextremely week, we have actually a statement we want to make.”
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Heavy rain made the football hard to manage and handicapped both teams’ typically efficient passing games. Virginia Tech managed just 75 yards via the air to North Carolina’s 58. But while a stable Evans restricted mistakes, throwing 2 touchdvery own passes and also no interceptions, Mitch Trubiskies was intercepted for the first two times this seaboy. Each quarterback shed a fumble.
And for North Carolina, (4-2, 2-1), competing against the Hokies without its leading rusher was as well significant a job. Freshguy Jordon Brown started in location of Elijah Hood, that was injured in the initially fifty percent versus Florida State last week. Brown finished via zero yards on 3 carries, and also the Tar Heels had just 73 rushing yards on 29 carries all at once.
The Hokies got a season-low 264 yards and fumbled salso times, shedding 2. But they organized on, many thanks in big component to an in-game adjustment from Coach Justin Fuente to lean even more greatly on the run game. They pounded North Carolina via 66 carries, grinding out 189 yards. Travon McMillian led the way through 76 yards on 17 carries, making him one of 5 Hokies that contributed at leastern 22 rushing yards.
“I think Coach just felt even more comfortable running the sphere,” said Evans, who ran 21 times for 49 yards.
“We came out right here and we exercised this this whole week, on our bye week, to make certain that we concentprice on the sphere, catching, throwing,” Evans shelp. “. . . When it’s those kind of problems, you gained to make certain you got that round initially no issue what.”
Preparedness came across on both sides of the round for Virginia Tech. After scoring at leastern 24 points in eincredibly game this season, the Tar Heels were organized without a touchdown for the first time under fifth-year Coach Larry Fedora.
“We protected the pass in the second, we ruburned the passer, removed the run game,” Fuente sassist of the Hokies’ defense. “Pretty darn terrific performance.”
The game obtained off to an ugly start, in component because of Hurricane Matthew and also in part bereason of two early on snaps from Virginia Tech center Eric Gallo while Evans was making play adjustments.
But the Hokies simply stumbled. The Tar Heels, whose initially 3 possessions ended in a punt, an interception and also a fumble, respectively, face-planted and also didn’t recuperate.
Trubiskies threw his first interception in 244 pass attempts to erected Virginia Tech’s initially field goal of the fifty percent. Place kicker Joey Slye converted an additional one, from 28 yards, after Brandon Facyboy required a fumble.
In all, three turnovers led to three field purposes between the 2 groups before Bucky Hodges controlled to catch a 28-yard bomb from Evans that put Virginia Tech on the 1-yard line through much less than two minutes left in the half. Evans saw a wide-open up Chris Cunningham for the touchdvery own pass that sent the Hokies right into the locker room with a 13-3 lead.
It was the greatest halftime deficit the Tar Heels had faced at residence in 2 years.
Things didn’t improve for North Carolina after the break. Trubiskies ended the Tar Heels’ initially drive of the third quarter with an incompletion and also a fumble, handing Virginia Tech the ball on the North Carolina 22. Evans hit Sam Rogers with a 22-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-3.
Anvarious other turnover — this time a dropped punt snap — collection the Hokies up for their next touchdown, and also McMillian capped the scoring with a four-yard touchdvery own run after Andrew Motuapuaka intercepted Trubiskies for the second time.
The Tar Heels’ loss followed two last-second wins over ACC foes, including an upset of then-No. 12 Florida State in Tallahaswatch, and also snapped a streak of 10 straight ACC continual season wins.
“We knew this team was picked to win our division,” Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “It’s a good action for us, towards wright here we’re wanting to go.”