Not much to say about this one. Unforced errors killed UNC with three drives stopped cold by two fumbles and an INT. Credit UVa’s Chris Long on the T.J. Yates INT he made a great play to snag the ball out of the air. The defense did a good job keeping UVa out of the endzone but yielded too many yards and therefore too much time of possession to the Cavs. It took until late in the 3rd quarter for UNC to force a three and out on the UVa offense and it should be noted that UNC forced zero turnovers while surrendering three. That kind of turnover margin will kill you as the season wears on and it was evident today.
UNC was a little slow out of the gate offensively but picked up the pace at the end of the 1st half to close a 16-0 UVa lead to nine points. From there they did a great job moving the ball but two 2nd half turnovers killed Tar Heel forays deep into Cavs territory and in the case of the last one UVa converted it into another FG. I am fairly comfortable declaring at this point that T.J. Yates is the real deal at QB. Another 300+ passing day that included three TD and only the one turnover. UNC also has three studs at wide receiver. Hakeem Nicks bounced back from the horrid game last week to pull in two TDs. The passing game is just plain impressive in that Yates makes good decisions, deals with pressure and puts the ball where it needs to be. Nicks, Brandon Tate, Brooks Foster and Zach Pinalto(despite the fumble) all do a tremendous job of created yardage after the catch.
This game was also plagued with clock/scoreboard problems and one of the most blatant missed calls I have ever seen. UVa had to challenge on replay to get a FG counted which the refs ruled was a miss despite the fact it was clearly shown clearing the crossbar.
I will say, despite the tough loss, that there is still plenty to be excited about with this team. The defensive problems need to be addressed as does the lack of a running game though UNC only ran the ball around 18 times from the tailback slot and White got 17 of those carries for 59 yards. The offense looks very good and UVa is a quality defense. I really think many the issues UNC faces are related mostly to experience and a tinge to talent. Had UNC limited the turnovers on offense they probably win the game but actually shutting down a Cav drive or two by forcing some turnovers on defense would have been helpful as well.