Three weeks ago, Saturday's game would have been a good test to see whether or not North Carolina could break out of its early-season slump. Three weeks ago, the Tar Heels (1-5, ACC 0-3) would be looking to prove they could rekindle some of that 2015 season magic.
It’s not three weeks ago, though, and North Carolina still has only one win against unranked Old Dominion. The last two games have been blowouts, and UNC has been looking for answers all season. Things could be more of the same against a surprisingly successful Virginia team (4-1, ACC 1-0).
Notre Dame proved the unit still hasn’t come together like fans have been waiting for, and UNC still lacks consistent offensive options. Available talent will always be an issue for this injury-riddled team, but here are three things to keep in mind before Saturday's game.
Will UNC's lack of run defense matter?
Last week against Notre Dame, the Tar Heels surrendered 341 rushing yards. The game before at Georgia Tech, they gave up 403. And against Louisville, they gave up 312. Some of this is the responsibility of elite rushers in the form of Louisville’s reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and Georgia Tech’s TaQuon Marshall.
Virginia only ranks No. 105 in the nation right now in rushing offense, averaging just 122.6 yards per game. It remains to be seen whether the Cavaliers have the talent to take advantage of the gaps the UNC defense has given to opposing rushers.