UNC Football: Tar Heels vs Virginia Tech Hokies Game Review


The North Carolina Tar Heels took on ACC foe Virginia Tech today at Kenan Stadium. Both teams came into today’s game at 3-2 looking to establish themselves and gain some momentum as the heart of ACC play begins.

Oct 6, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Giovani Bernard (26) runs for a touchdown as Virginia Tech Hokies cornerbacks Kyshoen Jarrett (34) and Kyle Fuller (17) and defensive end James Gayle (99) defend during the second quarter at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

UNC gave up an opening drive touchdown to VT on an impressive four play, 57 yard drive by the Hokies that took just 1:32.

Down 7-0 the Heels stole back the momentum on a thrilling 94 yard kickoff return for a TD by Sean Tapley.  The Heels defense held strong on the next possession forcing a three and out.  The Hokies returned the favor on the ensuing possession forcing UNC to punt out of their own end zone.

Under heavy pressure on 3rd and 11 on the ensuing possession, Logan Thomas delivered a perfect pass to Dyrell Roberts who dropped it with zero defenders within ten yards blowing a big play opportunity.  Tech shut down the Heels offense again, doing a nice job of denying the run and shutting down the screen forcing another punt on a three and out.

UNC kept up the pressure and stayed in Thomas’ face on the next possession.  Fedora sent Jabari Price to force a bad incompletion on third down forcing another three and out.  A nice return by Giovani Bernard set up good field position for Carolina.  After one big reception on the drive, Quinshad Davis had a one on one opportunity but couldn’t create any separation forcing fourth down.

Carolina was bailed out with an off side penalty giving Bryn Renner and the UNC offense another set of downs.  After a third down completion to Bernard, at the three yard line, Renner took it himself and ran in for a TD around the left side of the defensive line.  Marcus Davis beat his defender by a couple steps on the next possession and caught a perfect pass for a 49 yard TD to tie it up at 14 with 2:15 left in the first half.

Tech forced a 4th and inches and Fedora sent the offense out to go for it, Bernard took the hand off from Renner and took it 62 yards for the TD.  Carolina went up 21-14 with 14:53 left in the second quarter.  What looked like a defensive battle early suddenly turned into a high scoring game.

After a pass interference penalty by safety Tre Boston, VT threatened to tie the game once again in Heels territory.  After a strong defensive showing, the Hokies settled for a 40 yard field goal to cut the lead to four, 21-17.   Fedora showed his wildcat side by featuring Marquis Williams on a run play before putting Renner back in the game.

After a nifty run for a first down by Bernard, Renner hooked up with tight end Eric Ebron for a near TD that put the Heels on the one yard line.  The next play, AJ Blue punched it in for the score putting UNC ahead 28-17.   Carolinas defense once again held after an impressive drive by the Hokies and forced a 35 yard FG after a fumbled punt return at the 50 yard line, the Hokies pulled within one score at the half.

The score at the half: UNC 28 Virginia Tech 20

The second half, the Tar Heels defense continued to bring the pressure and force quick passes forcing a three and out on the first Hokie possession.  UNC failed to make it a two possession game as VT forced a Tar Heel punt on their next possession keeping it an eight point game.

Mid way through the third quarter the Heels were able to string together a fast four play, 45 yard drive that ended in Sean Tapley’s second TD of the day on an impressive drive.  The Heels went up 15, 35-20 with 7:35 left in the quarter.  And right as the momentum seemed to be swinging towards Carolina, Demitri Knowles took the kickoff 93 yards for a TD.   The margin stayed at two scores when Tech went for the two-point conversion and failed.

UNC responded with a 44 yard FG by Casey Barth extending the lead back to double digits 38-26.   The lead was extended to 19 when Bernard broke a big run on a block by Renner putting the Heels in the red zone.  On the very next play, Blue punched it in for his second TD of the day.

On the first play of the Hokies ensuing drive, Tech took a shot down field but overthrew the receiver and Tim Scott intercepted the pass.  Tech held defensively and answered on their next possession with a 66 yard TD pass to Corey Fuller and converted on a two point conversion attempt to cut the Heels lead to 11 making it a two possession game.

Carolina answered with a 40 yard FG to extend the lead to 14 after a pass interference call put them in striking distance.   Carolina stopped bringing the pressure and went with a prevent type defense with eight players dropped into coverage giving Logan Thomas time to throw.   UNC was able to hold on without giving up another score and secure the win going to 4-2 on the season with by far their most impressive win against a worthy opponent.

Final Score: UNC 48 Virginia Tech 34

*Several recruits both football and basketball visited Chapel Hill today and took in the game, here’s a list of the confirmed visits*
Jalan McClendon 2014 QB
Donnie Miles 2013 S*
Dante Sawyer 2014 DE
C.J. Reavis 2014 S
Mitch Trubisky 2013 QB*
Ryan Switzer 2013 ATH*
Jordan Fieulleteau 2013 WR*
Shelton Mitchell 2014 PG
Caleb Martin 2014 SF
Cody Martin 2014 SF
*=committed to UNC