Greg’s Game Grades: North Carolina 7, Virginia 5

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The Virginia defense held the Tar Heels to one score, 21 yards or less on eight of 13 drives, limited the Carolina running game to 3.7 yards per carry and shut down a UNC passing attack that entered the game averaging 221 yards. The Cavaliers held Matt Baker to season lows for completions (13) and passing yardage (98). That’s good enough to win any game.

Too bad the defense couldn’t also score Saturday. Six out of Virginia’s 12 drives did not travel 10 yards. The ‘Hoos managed just one field goal on offense against a UNC defense that gave up 69 points in its previous outing.

How hard is it to lose when a team gives up just seven points?

You need to go back to September 18, 1981, to find the last time Virginia allowed seven points or fewer and lost (3-0 at Rutgers) and back to a 7-0 loss at Clemson in 1956 to discover the last time the Wahoos lost after yielding just seven points. Those seven points were the fewest by the Tar Heels in a win since a 7-3 victory over Wake Forest 34 years ago. It had been over four years since the UNC defense held an opponent to five points or fewer.

You get the picture.

The offense was pathetic as the grades reflect.

Quarterback (C+)

Marques Hagans

Prior to reviewing the play-by-play, the game tape and my notes, I assumed Marques Hagans would grade out extremely low. But in completing this postgame analysis, the fact is he didn’t have much help. He was consistently under duress from abysmal blocking by the line, the running game was ineffective and Hagans’ receivers dropped numerous passes that in most cases would have sustained drives.

He was 14 of 28 passing, but five incompletions were drops. He was 3 of 7 on third-down attempts (42%) where he was responsible for the play either by run or pass (drops not included). Even deleting the drops, Hagans averaged a very inefficient 4.7