Greg’s Grades 2021: North Carolina

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The grades are in.
Billy Kemp IV hauls in a touchdown catch for Virginia. ~ Photo courtesy of Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

In a game where both teams combined to have zero three-and-outs, you know it was a bad day for defenses. The worst part is North Carolina’s defense was less giving in terms of yards and points than Virginia in the Cavaliers’ 59-39 loss to the Tar Heels.

Carolina posted 699 yards in total offense yards, the most ever against Virginia and the sixth most in any game in school history. UNC’s 35 first downs were the second most in program history, just one fewer than the record of 36 set against Pitt in 1974.

And just like only half of the offense/defense duo showed up for the Hoos Saturday, only half of the offense showed up as Virginia netted just 21 rushing yards on 22 carries: a 1.09 yards per rush average. That’s the worst run futility for a UVA offense since a four-yard effort (0.14 yards per carry) at Notre Dame in a 35-20 loss back in September of 2019. Virginia threw for 553 yards while rushing for only 21 yards. Those numbers set a record for the largest differential between passing and rushing yards in a game in ACC history. Really!!

To cap the Jekyll and Hyde performance, UVA scored 28 points in the first half, recorded 366 yards, converted 6 of 8 third down chances, and averaged 8.3 yards per play. To begin the second half, the Hoos on their first three drives had 14 plays for 57 yards, scored a field goal, punted, and threw an interception. In all, UVA concluded the Hyde half by scoring 11