The North Carolina Tar Heels (3-2) are hosting the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2) in an exciting ACC conference matchup this weekend.
It’s going to be a thrilling battle between two powerhouse teams that are both looking for a big win to turn their season around.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch this game, note who won’t be active due to injury, show some potential implications from the results, highlight a few players to keep an eye on and make a prediction on the final score.
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
When: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Watch: ACC Network
Live Stream: ESPN3
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line: North Carolina -3.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Injury Report (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
OL David Wang—Ankle—QST
WR DJ Coles—Knee—OUT
S Sam Smiley—Undisclosed—QST
WR Jheranie Boyd—Leg—QST
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Neither of these teams has much of a shot at getting into either Top 25 poll anytime soon.
According to ESPN, V-Tech is in the “others receiving votes” category of the USA Today coaches’ poll but earned just one vote after being dumped from the rankings.
North Carolina isn’t anywhere near the polls, and neither school is going to be making a BCS bowl this year unless things turn around quickly.
Virginia Tech Player to Watch: Logan Thomas
Thomas and the Hokies offense have been up and down this season. They were able to overcome Georgia Tech in the season opener, beat up on Austin Peay and blank Bowling Green, but they faltered against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Even though V-Tech has a respectable record and can still make a bowl game, it direly needs Thomas to play up to his insane ability.
The QB is just 78-of-148 for 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns this season, while throwing an unacceptable six interceptions. He’s also run for 129 yards and three touchdowns, but it has taken him 53 carries to reach that number, an awful 2.4 yards-per-carry average.
If Thomas can step up, the Hokies win this game easy. If he continues to struggle, expect a close contest.
North Carolina Player to Watch: Bryn Renner
Renner has found success in coach Larry Fedora’s spread offense. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions and completed 104-of-163 passes for 1,422 yards through five games.
The junior signal-caller seems to have grasped the offense—which is significantly different than coach Butch Davis’ pro style—and is putting up solid numbers.
If Renner can get in a groove Saturday, the Hokies are going to need to watch out.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, North Carolina 25
Which team will win?
This is going to be a close game between two evenly matched ACC opponents. No one is going to take it easy, as the outcome of this one could have bowl implications and every player and coach knows it.
We like Virginia Tech here on the road. It gets the edge because Thomas is due for a breakout game and should finally have one against the Tar Heels.