The North Carolina Tar Heels ran all over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon, compiling 339 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground in their 48-34 victor over the Hokies.
It seemed like this one might be extremely tight at first with each team putting 14 points on the board in the first 15 minutes. But the Hokies would have to settle for field goals in the second quarter which allowed North Carolina to pull ahead with rushing touchdowns from Giovani Bernard (62 yards) and A.J. Blue (one yard).
The third quarter wasn't much fun for Virginia Tech either with the Hokies coughing up a fumble, throwing a pick and turning over of the ball on downs in three of their four drives. Virginia Tech's kick returner Demitri Knowles did manage to bring a kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown but for the third straight quarter, UNC put up double digit points.
Things would get interesting in the final frame though with the Hokies moving 90 yards in five plays thanks to a 66-yard Logan Thomas to Corey Fuller touchdown connection. Thomas would find Fuller again for the two point conversion to cut the lead to 11 but UNC extended it back to 14 with a 40-yard Casey Barth field goal on the following drive.
That cushion would hold until the clock hit 0:00 with Thomas being sacked by LB Kevin Reddick and DT Sylvester Williams on fourth down of their final drive. After getting the ball back, Bernard would successfully run the remaining 2:48 off the clock to give the Tar Heels a big divisional win.
Box Score Hero: A.J. Blue had two rushing touchdowns but Giovani Bernard stole the show with 23 carries for 262 yards and a score.
Rankings Ramifications: Virginia Tech already dropped out of the USA Today Poll last week so this surely won't help. UNC could receive some votes if the AP takes note of their third straight dominating win.
But Did They Cover? North Carolina more than did their job as 1.5-point favorites.
Next Week's Schedule: The Hokies head back home to take on North Carolina's rival: the Duke Blue Devils. As for the Tar Heels, UNC will be beginning a two-game road trip as they head to Miami to face the Hurricanes.