Virginia 31, North Carolina 21
What Happened: Bryce Perkins ran for a score and threw three touchdowns as Virginia jumped out early and never trailed. but the Cavs pulled ahead in the second half on two of Perkins’ scoring passes, including a 16-yarder to Evan Butts for a 31-14 lead in the fourth.
– North Carolina got two touchdown passes from Nathan Elliott to keep pace, but could only manage one more scoring drive after getting down late, finishing with a Michael Carter touchdown run.
– The Cavaliers owned the game throughout, holding on to the ball for over 39 minutes with the ground game eating up the clock. It was exactly the type of performance Virginia needed – it dominated the tempo.
What Mattered: Perkins got hot and carried the offense … again. Jordan Ellis able to go despite being dinged up – running for 64 yards – but it was Perkins who got the job done with 112 yards on the ground with his scoring-opening touchdown, and completed 18-of-27 passes for 217 yards and three scores.
– Not only did Virginia get bowl eligible again for the second year in a row, but it managed to take a big step forward in the hunt for the Coastal title chase. The lone loss to North Carolina State doesn’t matter. Now it’s on to Pitt, with road games at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech to close out the ACC season.
– And that’s all but it for the North Carolina season. With the loss, the Tar Heels are 1-6 – they’re not good enough to win out and go bowling. Georgia Tech is up next, but three of the last four games are at home. It’s time to play spoiler, but beat the Yellow Jackets, and then there’s a glimmer of hope to win out to get to 6-6.
Thoughts: Virginia is just way too good at doing what it does. It controls the game, it doesn’t beat itself – just one turnover and one penalty – and Perkins continues to be exactly the right quarterback fit for the Bronco Mendenhall offense.
– The Tar Heels didn’t have the ball enough to make a whole lot of noise or ever settle in. Nathan Elliott had a decent day with 271 passing yards and two scores, but there wasn’t any running game to help the cause. Virginia wasn’t letting the UNC offense break out.
– Is that it for the Larry Fedora era? The team is competitive, and there are signs of getting better, after two tough losses, the team was knocked out midway through the second quarter. After a losing season, now he’s on the hottest of hot seats with the losses piling up. He has to come up with a massive November.