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Saturday, September 29, 2007

North Carolina at Virginia Tech

When: Noon

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.

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Records: Tar Heels 1-3, 0-1 ACC; Hokies 3-1, 0-0

TV: WDCA (Channel 20), WJZ (Channel 13)

Radio:WWXX (92.7 FM), WWXT (94.3 FM), WXTR (730 AM)

Holland's Onus?: Guard Sergio Render will not play in the first quarter because of disciplinary action taken by Coach Frank Beamer. The move gives Brandon Holland, a sophomore, an opportunity to make his first career start. "I'm really looking forward to it," Holland said. "So far, everything has been good. I'm just trying to get ahold of this new blocking scheme, stuff like that. I just have to go in and do my part."

Take It Away: Even if Virginia Tech's offense continues to struggle, the Hokies' defense may be able to generate some points. North Carolina freshman quarterback T.J. Yates has thrown seven interceptions, enough to make ball-hawking cornerbacks Victor Harris and Brandon Flowers salivate. Last year against UNC, Xavier Adibi broke the game open with a interception return to the Tar Heels1.

Youth vs. Experience: Of North Carolina's 22 starters, 13 are sophomores or freshmen. Virginia Tech has six seniors starting on its defense alone. The game may come down to a Hokies freshman: Quarterback Tyrod Taylor will be playing in his first ACC game. This game could serve as a means to study for his first real test, next Saturday night at Clemson.

Pittsburgh at Virginia

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville

Records: Panthers 2-2; Cavaliers 3-1


Radio:WTNT (570 AM)

One at a Time: The game starts a stretch of three games against lightly regarded nonconference opponents that could send the Cavaliers to a 6-1 start. The prospect has raised optimism around Charlottesville, but hasn't entered into the team's pysche. "People say we have a three-game stretch against nonconference teams," Coach Al Groh said, shaking his head side to side. "We have a one-game stretch against Pittsburgh." Last year's game, which opened the season and set the tone for a dismal first month, should make it easy for the Cavaliers not to look ahead. Pittsburgh dominated and won, 38-13.

Frosh Faces: Both teams may use freshman quarterbacks at times. Groh indicated he is still going to mix in Peter Lalich to spell Jameel Sewell, despite Sewell's terrific game last week and Lalich's struggles. Pittsburgh turned to Pat Bostick, a highly regarded recruit from Lancaster, Pa., last week in the second half after Kevan Smith proved ineffective. Down 27-7, Bostick needed to pass a lot -- 41 times, actually. He threw for 230 yards in the half, but threw three interceptions to contribute to Pittsburgh's six turnovers. The Panthers actually outgained Connecticut, 349-289, but still lost, 34-14.

-- Adam Kilgore

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