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September 26, 2007What are some of the more interesting storylines heading into Saturday's game between North Carolina and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg? Take a closer look at the facts and figures surrounding Saturday's matchup between the Tar Heels and Hokies.
UNC-Virginia Tech Facts and Figures
---Saturday's game will be the 31st meeting all-time in football between Virginia Tech and North Carolina, a series dating all the way back to 1895. Virginia Tech currently holds a 14-9-6 record in the series, including a perfect 3-0 mark against the Tar Heels since joining the ACC back in 2004. That includes a Virginia Tech victory over North Carolina in 1918 (during World War I) when UNC did not officially have a varsity team. The two teams met on the gridiron every year from 1902 to 1913, with the Hokies winning eight of those contests, but Saturday will be just the fifth game between the two programs since 1946. UNC and VT have played on a neutral field in 19 of their 30 all-time matchups.
---Virginia Tech has held each of their last seven opponents at Lane Stadium to seven points or less, which includes last week's victory over William and Mary. Over those same seven games, the Hokies have allowed just 30 offensive points to be scored against them (4.3 ppg). Against William and Mary, the Hokies stymied the Tribe running game to the tune of just 5 rushing yards, the ninth-lowest rushing total for an opposing team since Frank Beamer became head coach at Virginia Tech.
---North Carolina enters Saturday's game ranked sixth in the ACC in total offense, with an average of 328.2 yards per game. The Tar Heels are currently third in pass offense (248.8 yards per outing), and are No. 11 out of twelve schools in rushing offense (79.5 yards per game). UNC is currently tied for fifth place in the league (with N.C. State) in scoring, with an average of 24.5 points per game. UNC is ranked second in the ACC (behind only Clemson) in quarterback efficiency, with a rating of 145.9. Defensively, the Tar Heels are No. 10 in the conference with an average of 374.5 yards per game. UNC is No. 6 in passing defense (223.2 yards per game), and No. 9 in rushing defense (151.2 yards per game).
---In its three previous meetings with Virginia Tech since the Hokies became a member of the ACC, North Carolina has rushed for an average of just 85.3 yards per game. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, has averaged 221.3 rushing yards in those same three games, producing a grand total of 664 yards on the ground. In all, four different Hokie backs have rushed for at least 100 yards in those contests, including Mike Imoh, who set a VT school record back in 2004 when he rushed for 243 yards against the Tar Heels in Kenan Stadium.
---In his six years as head coach at Miami, Butch Davis won just once against Virginia Tech, a 41-21 victory in 2000. Davis's Hurricanes dropped five straight contests to the Hokies from 1995 to 1999, three of which were by seven points or less. Davis was 1-0 against Virginia Tech as an assistant coach at Miami, as the Hurricanes defeated the Hokies, 27-13, in 1987.
---Since joining the ACC back in 2004, Virginia Tech is a perfect 3-0 in conference openers, which includes last season's 35-10 triumph in Chapel Hill over North Carolina. The Hokies forced five turnovers in that game. In all, the Hokies have scored points in 10 of the 12 quarters they have played against North Carolina since joining the ACC, while tailback Brandon Ore has scored four touchdowns in his two previous outings against the Tar Heels. Ore also has a pair of 100-yard rushing performances, having run for 104 yards against UNC in 2005, and 111 yards last season.
---Neither UNC nor Virginia Tech have done well thus far this season in the turnover battle. The Tar Heels are currently No. 11 in the ACC in turnover margin (11 turnovers lost, 6 turnovers gained), which equates to a -5 margin and a -1.25 margin per game. Virginia Tech is ranked just above the Tar Heels, in the No. 10 position, with a -2 margin (6 turnovers lost, 4 gained), for an average of -.25.
---Virginia Tech running backs coach Billy Hite is a three-time letter-winner at North Carolina who played for the Tar Heels under Bill Dooley in the 1970s, earning an ACC title in 1972. Hite began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Dooley at UNC in 1974, and joined his college coach when he left North Carolina for Virginia Tech after the 1977 season. Hite has been in Blacksburg ever since, as the 2007 season marks his 30th season as a Virginia Tech assistant. This is Hite's seventh year as an associate head coach for the Hokies.
---Under head coach Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech has won 87.9 percent of the games it which it has out-rushed its opposition (winning 139, losing 27, tying twice), and has won just 25.3 percent of the games in which it has been out-rushed (winning 19, losing 56). In Virginia Tech's current run of 14 consecutive bowl appearances, dating back to 1993, the Hokies are 119-12 when out-rushing its opposition, and are a combined 83-6 when rushing for 200 or more yards. Virginia Tech is one of just four schools (the others being Florida State, Michigan, and Florida) to play in a postseason bowl game in each of the last 14 seasons. In addition, the Hokies are one of just three schools in major college football (the others being Southern Cal and Texas) to win 10 or more games in each of the last three seasons.
---Over the past half-decade, few teams in America have been as solid on the defensive side of the ball as Virginia Tech. The Hokies have more interceptions since the 2000 season (140) than any major college football program in the country, and have also allowed fewer offensive touchdowns since 2004 (54) than any team in the country.
--- Virginia Tech has won an impressive 31 straight contests in which it scored the first points. The last time the Hokies lost a game in which they scored first was back in 2002 to West Virginia. In addition, Virginia Tech has scored in a school-record 151 games dating back to the 1995 season. During the streak, the Hokies have scored at least 13 points in all but six games, one of which was North Carolina's 42-3 drubbing at the 1998 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
---North Carolina hasn't beaten Virginia Tech in the town of Blacksburg since Charles "Chuck" Collins' 1930 Tar Heel team defeated the Hokies, 39-21. UNC has beaten Virginia Tech four other times since that 1930 game (1938, 1939, 1945, and 1998), but those games were in Chapel Hill, Norfolk, Roanoke, and Jacksonville, Fla. UNC's only other victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg came in 1904, a 6-0 triumph.
---Virginia Tech's all-time record on Homecoming is 56-19-4, including a 33-7-2 mark in Homecoming games at Lane Stadium, the home of the Hokies dating back to 1965. VT's last Homecoming loss came in 1998, when Temple defeated the Hokies, 28-24. In all, Virginia Tech is 16-4 in Homecoming contests under Frank Beamer.
---Virginia Tech's roster is made up decidedly of players from within the borders of the Old Dominion State. 10 of VT's 11 defensive starters, and nine of the team's 11 offensive starters, for a total of 19 out of 22 starters, hail from the state of Virginia.