The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday January 22nd

Rushing attack crucial to both teams' successes

Game and Time: Virginia Tech at North Carolina. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Site: Kenan Stadium

TV/Radio: TV coverage will be on ABC. Radio coverage will be provided by WCHL 1360 AM WRDU 106.1 FM.

Records: Virginia Tech is 2-1. North Carolina is 2-0.

The Key Matchup: Virginia Tech's passing game vs. North Carolina's pass defense.

Today the Hokies of Virginia Tech travel to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels in UNC's ACC opener.

The winner will have an early leg up in the ACC Coastal Division as Georgia Tech already has a loss at the hands of the Hokies.

Virginia Tech enters with question marks under center. Sean Glennon began the season as the starter but has since been supplanted by Tyrod Taylor.

Virginia Tech has left no questions however about their ability to run the ball this season. They rushed for 199  yards last week against Georgia Tech.

Opposing them North Carolina is coming off a dominating defensive performance forcing Rutgers into four turnovers and scoring a defensive touchdown from the nifty moves of Bruce Carter.

North Carolina's offense will need a reliable rushing game from Greg Little Anthony Elzy and Shaun Draughn to win. Virginia Tech is good enough to stop T.J. Yates and Co. if they don't have to worry about a rushing game to keep them honest.

But Greg Little has shown only very short flashes so far of the back that snatched the starting job in big games against Duke and Georgia Tech last year.

 Last year Elzy rushed for 74 yards against the Hokies and Ryan Houston chipped in 54 more. This unexpected rushing output helped the Tar Heels keep the game closer than many expected.

The Tar Heels typically own a sizeable advantage in special teams against their opponents" but when they go against ""Beamer Ball"" and the Hokies" that advantage disappears.

Brandon Tate UNC's big play threat only managed 10 punt return yards on two returns last year.

For the Tar Heels to win Tate will have to break free at least once and the rushing game has to total at least 175 yards.

The Bottom Line: Virginia Tech 17 North Carolina 24.


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