The Cavs fall to UNC 37-13, as UNC explodes for three scores in less than a five-minute span to break things open.
UVa drops to 4-7 and is officially out of bowl contention. UNC improves to 7-4, 4-3.
Some UVa quotes for you:
On missing fourth-and-one scoring opportunity:
“It’s very disappointing. You get down in that situation there where you have the chance to tie the score. It seemed like the game kind of turned on that, not getting that fourth down opportunity, and as it went on, the other fourth down opportunities at the other end that we didn’t get, driving the ball, not being able to stop them, particularly with the bubble screens, and the play action passes they were doing. We couldn’t quite get a rhythm to stop them. I thought we played very competitively in the first half and had a chance, and we left some points on the field for sure, that dropped pass by (Darius Jennings) wide open. It’s frustrating. I feel for the guys in the locker room there. I give North Carolina credit. They played good offense. It’s a good team. They played well.”
On losing bowl eligibility:
“You tell them that’s there one more game left. There’s one more opportunity. We always like for the guys to have a positive college playing experience, one more opportunity to playwith your teammates, play your in-state rival. You’ve got to make it your bowl game. That’s what it is: one last game to play. I know the players will be up to the challenge. It’s a very quiet locker room in there with a lot of disappointments. We’ve got to pick ourselves up and get ready to play one last football game.”
On stopping Bernard and Davis:
“All of the receivers and what they do were very prominent. There was a lot of focus on Bernard. At the same time, they’ve shown those bubble screens. I thought that their receivers, physically, got on our corners there a little bit, and gave their receiver an opportunity to catch the ball, get seven or eight yards, and they were consistent with that. That’s part of their offense. It spreads you out and makes you defend the field width-wise. With Bernard and the inside run plays, opportunities were there to throw the ball to him as well. I know he was limited in his yardage, and I know he was the number three rusher in the country. We’ve got to be able to make those plays on the perimeter, because that’s ultimately where it ended up hurting us.”
On taking Sims out after a touchdown pass:
“Coach Lazor and the offensive staff do what we’ve been doing all year, over the last two games where guys play a couple series. The next series was up and Mike was the guy. I think Mike had an interception, and we put him back in as well, right afterthat. We have two quarterbacks right now, and I’m looking at the statistics. We’d like to have had a better game. There were some drops there, some short underneath routes that we didn’t convert. Last week we were pretty good on third down, and one of the things that stands out right now is two-of-15 onthird down. That hurts when you can’t convert like that. We definitely have a lot of work to do in improving the opportunities for us to keep the ball on the field. I think we did a great job the last two games, and obviously this game, we did not.”
Junior Quarterback Michael Rocco
On his interception:
“The pass was intended for Tim Smith. The safety rolled down into cover three, and I tried to fit one in there. The ball was too low. It could have been a big play if I had gotten it over top of him, but the safety made a good play, and then made a good return. It wasn’t my best throw. We were going to run that play later in the game, and if I were to do it again I would try to get it to him a little earlier. Theball was just too low that time, and it got picked.”
On no longer being eligible for a bowl game:
“We’re not happy. You play for a bowl game, you play for championships, and you play to win. After a loss, it’s tough. Especially knowing that you’re not going to be able to go to a bowl game for our seniors and the guys graduating. But we’ll move on. We have a big one next week.”
Sophomore Quarterback Phillip Sims
On the dropped pass to Darius Jennings:
“It’s just one of those plays that you work on in practice. I’m going to be honest with you; in practice this week I really haven’t hit that play. It’s not my favorite play, if you were to ask anybody. I made a pretty decent throw on this one, but we just didn’t hit it tonight. It’s just the story of the night, I guess you could say.”
On the North Carolina defense:
“It’s a really talented defensive line that we played against tonight. This is what they do. They’re going to get after quarterbacks. They don’t do a lot of crazy stuff with linebackers, like bringing eight guys to overload you. They just let the front four go to work, and that’s how they make their money.”
Sophomore Running Back Kevin Parks
On the failed 4th and 1 near the end of the third quarter:
“It was a big turning point in the game. We get it, it’s a different ball game. I think it would have been a different story of a game. We came up short. We didn’t get in. It hurts.”
On Carolina’s defense on the 4th and 1:
“It’s one yard and you have to snip the end zone. I didn’t do a good job on my part getting in. You have to do anything possible to get in. That’s why I’m kind of hurt right now. You watch that film and learn from it, you learn from your mistakes and you fix those mistakes.”
On not going to a bowl this year:
“I think it will hit me in the morning, later on when I think about it. Give it up to Carolina, they came in and they played a really good game. They had a good game plan against us. We didn’t make the plays we needed to. It hurts right now, but we’ll bounce back we still have one game left in Blacksburg. We’ll see what happens.”
Senior Linebacker La’Roy Reynolds
On running back Giovani Bernard:
“Our mindset was to shut him down; I feel like that’s what we did. It was the other things that we should have focused on even more. He is a great back so our mindset going into the game, especially for our linebacking corps, was to limit him and shut him down in any way possible. He can put up big numbers reallyfast, so our goal was to contain him. They got a couple big breaks. Things just went their way tonight.”
On his emotions right now:
“It’s a lot of emotions. I love the fans, the energy everyone brings. I love the team so it’s disappointing. It hurts honestly. You put in so much work, so much effort, all the guys collectively. When everyone works extremely hard to reach a goal and you come up short. I tell all the young guys we have to value the game and value what it gives you. It gives you an opportunity to do something you love. Whenever you step on the field that’s how you have to approach it, enjoying the game you love. I appreciate everybody, all the fans, the program has been amazing.”
UNC leads it 20-13 as we head to the fourth.
The Wahoos shut out UNC in the period but still had to feel as though they’d lost it, getting just three points out of two red zone opportunities. Kevin Parks got stuffed for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Earlier, a muffed punt by Bernard – who so far is having one of his worst career games – set UVa up at the 12, but the Cavs could manage only a field goal.
Game’s still there for the taking, but UVa would have preferred to have taken it already. Got a feeling Bernard’s got at least one explosive play in him tonight that we’ve yet to see.
Bernard, the nation’s No. 8 rusher with 126 yards a game, has 18 rushing yards on seven carries at the break, yet the Tar Heels lead this one 20-10.
How? Quinshad Davis.
Davis, a freshman, already has 10 catches for a career-high 130 yards. It’s the most catches ever for a fledgling UNC receiver, and he still has a half to build on that total.
(Also, although I can’t confirm this, I think it marks the most interaction between a Bryn and a Quinshad in a single night).
The Cavs did mix up the quarterback rotation a bit – and paid for it. Instead of the usual two series, switch, two series, switch, Mike London removed Sims after one series in this quarter (on which he threw a touchdown pass).
On the next snap, Rocco underthrew Tim Smith badly and watched it get picked by Tre Boston and returned 36 yards for a touchdown.
Tar Heels tried a trick play for a two-point conversion and didn’t get it.
Cavs are moving the ball OK, with 102 rushing yards and 100 passing yards, but you can’t judge your stats by normal standards when playing this up-tempo UNC attack. It’s going to take 500 yards for UVa to win this one.
The Cavs will get the ball first to start the second half.
The period ends with the Tar Heels leading 7-3 and approaching midfield on their third drive of the game.
The story so far hasn’t been running back Giovani Bernard but rather Bryn Renner and the UNC passing game. Renner connected on three passes of 10-yards or more on the UNC touchdown drive, then hooked up with Erik Highsmith from nine yards out for the score.
Michael Rocco started at QB for the Hoos. If the pattern continues as it has been in recent games, Phillip Sims would get the next two series.
UNC—Highsmith 9 pass from Renner (Moore kick), 6:24. Drive: 10 plays, 91 yards, 3:23. Key play: Davis 10 pass on third-and-4 to UNC 49. North Carolina 7, Virginia 0.
UVa—FG Jarrett 34, :53. Drive: 11 plays, 66 yards, 5:31. Key play: McGee 23 pass from Rocco to UNC 21. North Carolina 7, Virginia 3.
UNC—Blue 3 run (Moore kick), 14:03. Drive: Eight plays, 75 yards, 1:50. Key play: Davis 32 pass from Renner to UVa 18. North Carolina 14, Virginia 3.
UVa—Jennings 9 pass from Sims (Jarrett kick), 8:42. Drive: 14 plays, 67 yards, 5:21. Key play: Davis 32 pass from Renner to UVa 18. North Carolina 14, Virginia 10.
UNC—Boston 36 interception return (run failed), 4:37. North Carolina 20, Virginia 10.
UVa—FG Jarrett 28, 11:00. Drive: Four plays, one yard, 2:04. Key play: Bernard muffed punt at UNC 12. North Carolina 20, Virginia 13.
UNC—Bernard 23 pass from Renner (Moore kick), 11:43. Drive:12 plays, 97 yards, 4:13. Key play: Highsmith 5 pass from Renner on fourth-and-2 to UVa 23. North Carolina 27, Virginia 13.
UNC—Highsmith 20 pass from Renner (Moore kick), 8:46. Drive: Five plays, 47 yards, 1:19. Key play: Davis 10 pass from Renner to UVa 37. North Carolina 34, Virginia 13.
UNC—FG Moore 30, 7:07. Drive: Four plays, five yards, 1:39. Key play: UNC fumble recovery at UVa 17. North Carolina 37, Virginia 13.
North Carolina, Boston 9-4-0, Hughes 5-3-0, Williams 3-5-1, Scott 5-1-0, Mangum 3-3-0, Reddick 2-4-0, Price 4-1-0, Heffernan 2-3-0, Rankin 1-3-0, Guy 3-0-0, Schoettmer 1-2-0, Rashad 1-2-1/2, Martin 1-2-1, Thomason 0-3-1, Jackson 2-0-0, Campbell 2-0-0, Singleton 1-0-0, Shankle 1-0-0, Dixon 1-0-0, Brown 0-1-1/2, Washington 0-1-0, Totals 47-38-4.
Virginia, Harris 8-6-0, Reynolds 3-7-0, Nicholson 4-5-0, Greer 2-6-0, Phelps 3-4-0, Romero 2-5-0, Cooper 4-0-0, Hoskey 3-1-0, Harold 2-1-0, Urban 1-2-1, Snyder 1-2-0, Brathwaite 1-2-0, Walker 2-0-0, Walcott 1-0-0, Hill 1-0-0, Moore 1-0-0, Schautz 0-1-0, Totals 39-42-1.
Kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.