Carolina hosted the 124th edition of The South's Oldest Rivalry, and it was another heart stopper in Kenan Stadium. Bryce Perkins out dueled Sam Howell in the shootout nobody saw coming, winning 38-31. The win gives the Cavaliers the inside track to the ACC Championship. Carolina now sits at 4-5, needing to win 2 of the final 3 games to make a bowl game for the first time since 2016. Here's how the Tar Heels performed in the trenches Saturday night:
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The group responded after a difficult outing against Duke a week ago. They did a great job creating holes for Javonte Williams and Michael Carter to attack. More importantly after allowing a sack on the first play of the game, they kept Sam Howell up right, and allowed him to pick apart the Cavaliers secondary. The line also played a clean game until late in the 4th quarter, with Carolina trying to rally once again. Those are mental mistakes that you see young teams make. Overall the hogs up front were impressive against one of the conferences better defensive units. They now get a week to get healthy for the stretch run.
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It was a very unimpressive performance from the defensive line as they struggled to contain Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins. There weren't many times that the announcers were calling Aaron Crawford or Jason Strowbridge's name, which is a problem. They couldn't generate any pressure which allowed a Virginia to have its best outing on the road this season. We've come accustomed to seeing Jay Bateman make the correct adjustments during the game, and he failed to do that Saturday night. The bye week allows the guys to regroup before the final three games, which they need to win 2 to play a bowl game.