Cavaliers looking to slow down talented Tar Heels

North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell passes against South Carolina in the first half of an...
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell passes against South Carolina in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)(Nell Redmond | AP)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 10:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team will take on a ranked opponent for the second week in a row, and the third time this season, as the Cavaliers host #15 North Carolina on Saturday night.

When they take the field for “The South’s Oldest Rivalry,” UVA will be looking to snap its four-game losing streak.

“They got a tough straw in schedules,” says UNC head coach Mack Brown. "They played at Miami, they played at Clemson, and they played at Wake Forest, who is obviously really improving, with their win last week over Virginia Tech.”

After going 7-6 last season, North Carolina is off to a 5-1 start this year.

The Tar Heels returned ten starters on offense from last year’s team, including quarterback Sam Howell.

The ACC Rookie of the Year tossed 38 touchdowns as a freshman last year, and he has ten so far this season.

UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “The amount of points and productivity is more likely to continue. That’s why it’s so great to have a returning quarterback, every year. That piece, but if you happen to have running backs and receivers also, man, that’s a blessing.”

UVA sophomore linebacker Nick Jackson says, "They have great running backs, great receivers, just great players.  They’re great athletes.  You have to definitely respect them.  They break tackles, so we just have to wrap up, drive our feet, and bring it back to fundamentals.”

Virginia has had four different players take snaps at quarterback this season.

Brennan Armstrong took the majority last week, after returning from a concussion.

No matter who is back there, Brown says they can cause problems for his team.

“We haven’t stopped running quarterbacks," says Brown. "Virginia is going to run their quarterback.  Period.  Are we going to stop that better?  That’s something we have to do.”

Brennan Armstrong rushed for a career-high 91 yards last week against Miami.

The ‘Hoos and Heels kickoff on Saturday at eight o’clock at Scott Stadium.

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