No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina
Still the King: Tight end Jeff King will be among 19 seniors honored before tonight's game, and perhaps the Hokies won't miss any player more. With 19 catches for 229 yards and four touchdowns this season, King might have expected more of a role in the passing game. But Coach Frank Beamer said King's leadership has been invaluable. "I think [opponents] know we like to throw it to him," Beamer said. "I think with good offense it doesn't make a lot of difference who you throw it to, and that's kind of the way we've been. . . . What I like about Jeff, I've never heard him say a word about it. He blocks the same way; he's a threat. He's a team guy all the way. I personally think he has a great, great future after college."
Long Time Ago: Virginia Tech and North Carolina would seem like natural rivals since their campuses are separated by about only 200 miles. But the Tar Heels are making only their third trip to Blacksburg to play football and their first since 1930. Before the Hokies beat North Carolina, 27-24, in Chapel Hill last season, the teams had played 27 times since 1895, and nine of those games were played at neutral sites. Before last year's victory, Virginia Tech had not defeated the Tar Heels since 1928.
Thin Up Front: The Tar Heels might be without four defensive players for tonight's game. Ends Brian Rackley (concussion) and Tommy Davis (knee), tackle Chase Page (knee) and linebacker Hilee Taylor (foot) were all limited in practice this week. North Carolina gave up 451 total yards in an embarrassing 69-14 loss at Louisville on Oct. 8, and rank next-to-last in the ACC in pass defense, allowing 226 passing yards per game.
-- Mark Schlabach