Week 11 - Virginia at North Carolina

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Virginia at North Carolina

Virginia (2-7) at North Carolina (3-5) Nov. 9, 12:30, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: With a month remaining in the 2013 season, North Carolina is surging and Virginia is sinking. The Tar Heels have won consecutive games over Boston College and NC State, reviving hopes for a return to the postseason following last year's NCAA probation. They've begun to play like the team that started 2013 with lofty expectations, and now have a change to carry some momentum into December and the 2014 season. The only intrigue surrounding the Cavaliers these days is whether or not head coach Mike London can convince AD Craig Littlepage that a fifth year is deserved. UVa has not only dropped six in a row, but it's regressing as the season unfolds. The Cavs are staring down the barrel of their first 10-loss campaign since 1981.

Why Virginia Might Win: Carolina QB Bryn Renner is done for the year after injuring his shoulder last Saturday. The uncertainty at quarterback coupled with the veteran Cavalier secondary could keep the Heels from moving the ball effectively this weekend. Virginia is led by upperclassmen on the last line of defense, primarily safeties Anthony Harris and Rijo Walker. More defensive support will come from RB Kevin Parks, who has rushed for 696 yards and nine touchdowns in workmanlike fashion.

Why North Carolina Might Win: Coordinator Dan Disch's defense is getting better each week, a trend that'll continue this week in Chapel Hill. Virginia has one of the worst passing attacks in America, which will allow the Heels to focus all of their attention to halting Parks. Carolina has regrouped since getting thumped by East Carolina on Sept. 28, allowing a little more than 20 points over the last four games. It'll all start up front, where linemen Kareem Martin and Norkeithus Otis will make like miserable for UVa quarterbacks.

Who To Watch Out For: Now that Renner's career in Chapel Hill is over, Carolina will feel fortunate to have used backup Marquise Williams liberally throughout the year. Williams has played in seven games, accounting for seven touchdowns and 738 yards.

- Watford has started all nine games, but he hasn't made the progress that was expected—and needed. After playing arguably his best game of the year against Georgia Tech, he regressed again last Saturday versus Clemson.

- The Carolina staff likes what it's seen from rookie RB T.J. Logan, who iced last week's game with a 14-yard touchdown run. He's showing hints why he was a four-star recruit, who had offers from the likes of Ohio State and Clemson.

What Will Happen: With or without Renner, Carolina's resurgence will not be stalled by Virginia. The Cavs just don't have that kind of a game in them. Confident and balanced, the Tar Heels will make it three straight to pull within a game of .500.

Prediction: North Carolina 30 … Virginia 17
Line: North Carolina -13.5 o/u: 51.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 2
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