END THE MISERY: Virginia enters Saturday’s road game at North Carolina State with its season in a tailspin courtesy of six straight losses. Though a second straight bowl berth is still technically in the cards if the Cavaliers win their final four games, the focus at this point is on ending this skid. One problem, though, is that North Carolina State Coach Tom O’Brien, a former Virginia assistant under Coach George Welsh, has never lost to the Cavaliers as a head coach.
SIMS VS. GLENNON: The last time Virginia’s Phillip Sims and North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon were on the same field, Sims set Virginia AAA state passing records but Glennon emerged with a dramatic playoff victory as Westfield High bested Oscar Smith in 2007. This time around, their battle will again be a huge factor. The Wolfpack has the ACC’s worst pass defense, but Glennon has been the most prolific passer in the conference this year. If he’s given time to throw, it could spell trouble for Virginia’s inexperienced secondary.
TURNOVER TURNAROUND Virginia currently has the worst turnover margin in the country, and both sides of the ball are to blame. The Cavaliers’ offense has 20 giveaways this year, including 12 interceptions, and the defense has accounted for just three turnovers. If Virginia is to pull off an upset on the road against a Wolfpack squad still in the chase to win the ACC’s Atlantic Division, the Cavaliers will need to be on the positive side of the turnover battle.
— Mark Giannotto
12:30 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.
Internet: Game streamed at ESPN3.com. Radio: WSPZ (570 AM).
Records: Cavaliers 2-6, 0-4 ACC; Wolfpack 5-3, 2-2.