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Carolina will meet the Cavaliers in Charlottesville

Posted Friday, September 10, 2004

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Date: Saturday, September 11, 2004
Time: 3:30 p.m.
TV: ABC (Dr. Jerry Punch, play-by-play; Dan Reeves, color analyst; Dave Lamont, sideline)
Site: Scott Stadium (61,500)
Rankings: UNC is not ranked; Virginia is 15th in the AP poll and 20th in the USA Today/ESPN poll
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Radio Network, a division of Learfield Communications. Woody Durham (play-by-play), Mick Mixon (color) and Lee Pace (sideline) provide the call. A live broadcast also is available on the University of North Carolina's official athletic website,
Websites: North Carolina (; Virginia (

Tar Heels, Cavaliers Open ACC Slate
Off to a 1-0 start for the first time since 2000, North Carolina carries its unblemished record to Charlottesville for the 109th all-time meeting with Virginia on Saturday, September 11. The game will be televised regionally by ABC with Dr. Jerry Punch providing the play-by-play, former Denver and Atlanta coach Dan Reeves serving as the color analyst and Dave Lamont on the sideline. The game also will be carried on the Tar Heel Sports Network and a live broadcast can be heard on Carolina's official web site,

Saturday's game is the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools. A win would give Carolina a 1-0 record in conference play for the first time since 2000. The Virginia game is the first of eight consecutive games Carolina will face against teams that played in a bowl game in 2003.

Carolina is coming off a 49-38 come-from-behind victory over William & Mary, while the Cavaliers are 1-0 after a 44-14 win at Temple. Using a well-balanced ground game, Carolina rushed for 341 yards and rolled up 575 total yards of offense in the win. Tailbacks Ronnie McGill (133) and Jacque Lewis (123) each topped the 100-yard mark in rushing and Chad Scott added 75 yards. It was the first time two Tar Heel tailbacks had rushed for at least 100 yards in the same game since 1994. The 341 rushing yards were the most since the Georgia Tech game in 1994. Carolina turned the ball over four times in the first half and trailed 24-14 at the break, but rebounded in the second half with five scores and no turnovers.

Unbeatens Face Off
• Other than the season openers in 1963 and 1999, this is the first time Carolina and Virginia have faced each other as unbeatens. This is the first time since 1996 that both teams have come into the game above .500.

ACC Openers
• Carolina is looking to win its first conference opener since beating Wake Forest, 25-14 in 2000.

• Overall, Carolina is 23-28 in ACC openers.

UNC-VIrginia Series Notes
•The Carolina-Virginia game is the South's oldest rivalry with 108 previous meetings and the series ties for the fifth-most played series in Division I-A history. The two schools have met every year since 1919.

• The Tar Heels have lost 11 straight games in Charlottesville. Their last win at Virginia was a 17-14 victory in 1981.

• UNC offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill and running backs coach Andre' Powell both coached at Virginia before coming to Chapel Hill as part of John Bunting's original staff in 2001. Tranquill had two coaching stints at Virginia. He was UVA's quarterbacks coach from 1987-90 where he helped develop some of the top passers in conference history, including Scott Secules and Shawn Moore. He returned to Virginia as the offensive coordinator in 1999-2000 under George Welsh. Powell coached wide receivers and running backs at Virginia. He tutored several Cavaliers who now play in the NFL, including Tiki Barber, Thomas Jones and Germane Crowell.

• Virginia head coach Al Groh was an assistant on Bill Dooley's staff at Carolina from 1973-77. He was responsible for UNC's defensive ends.

• UNC wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer served on Al Groh's staff at Wake Forest in 1986.

• Seven Tar Heels are from Virginia, including tailback Antwain Carey (Chesapeake), James Gibson (Alexandria), Jon Hamlett (Lynchburg), Wyatt Hicks (Highland Springs), Khalif Mitchell (Virginia Beach), Kenny Price (Virginia Beach) and Kareen Taylor (Hopewell).

• Corey Holliday, Carolina's Director of Development for Football Student-Athletes and a former Tar Heel standout, is a native of Richmond, Va. Holliday is Carolina's career leader in receiving yardage.

• Many of Carolina's greatest football players have hailed from the state of Virginia. A short list includes NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor (Williamsburg), two-time ACC Player of the Year Mike Voight (Chesapeake), two-time All-America William Fuller (Chesapeake), bruising halfback Ken Willard (Richmond), All-America offensive guard Ron Rusnak (Prince George), record-setting wide receiver Corey Holliday (Richmond), linebacker Dwight Hollier (Hampton), four-time 1,000-yard back Amos Lawrence (Norfolk), three-time first-team All-America cornerback Dre' Bly (Chesapeake) and record-setting quarterback Ronald Curry (Hampton).

Carolina Players vs. Virginia
• In three games vs. Virginia, quarterback Darian Durant is 51 of 74 for 595 yards and three touchdowns. In his most recent contest at Virginia, Durant was having perhaps the best game of his career completing 14 of 18 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns before he broke his thumb early in the second half. Durant hit his helmet while throwing and missed the next four games. At the time, Carolina was winning 21-7, but eventually lost 37-27.

• Wide receiver Jarwarski Pollock has eight catches for 66 yards in two games against UVA.

Tar Heel Running Game Picks Up
After finishing the 2003 season 16th in the nation and first in the ACC in yards per carry (5.1), the Tar Heel running game has picked up where it left off. Against William & Mary, Carolina rushed for 341 yards, the most in a game since 1994, and averaged 7.6 yards per carry.

Sophomore tailback Ronnie McGill rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, senior Jacque Lewis had 123 yards on 15 carries and senior Chad Scott had 75 yards on 11 attempts. All three tailbacks scored rushing touchdowns in the win.

Last season, quarterback Darian Durant led the Tar Heels for much of the season until McGill exploded for 244 yards against Wake Forest in the 10th game of the year.

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Carolina will meet the Cavaliers in Charlottesville
photo by Gene Galin
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