No. 15 UNC out for revenge vs. struggling Virginia

A year ago, North Carolina’s Sam Howell passed for 353 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against Virginia — and still had to watch his team absorb a 38-31 loss at home.The sophomore quarterback will look for a better team result Saturday night when his No. 15 Tar Heels (4-1, 4-1 ACC) visit the slumping Cavaliers (1-4, 1-4) in Charlottesville, Va.Howell, who ranks second in the conference with 280.6 passing yards per game, faces Virginia’s league-worst pass defense (286.0 yards per game).North Carolina rebounded from a 31-28 defeat at Florida State on Oct. 17 by whipping then-No. 23 North Carolina State 48-21 on Saturday. Howell completed 18 of 29 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown and ran for a score. Javonte Williams (160 yards, three TDs) and Michael Carter (106, one TD) both rushed for more than 100 yards against the rival Wolfpack.The Tar Heels lead the ACC in total offense (531.2 yards per game) and rank second in scoring (37.8 per game).”North Carolina is a great team. We definitely have to just focus on tackling their backs, tackling their receivers … they have really good players,” said Cavaliers linebacker Nick Jackson, who leads the ACC with 10.6 tackles per game and last week had 16 stops against in a 19-14 loss at Miami. “I think our coaches are going to prepare us really well for it and I’m excited to play them.”Virginia has lost four in a row since a season-opening win against Duke.Against Miami, quarterback Brennan Armstrong returned after missing a game with a concussion, and passed for 181 yards with two TDs and rushed for a game-high 91 yards. Tight end Tony Poljan, a grad transfer from Central Michigan, caught a touchdown pass for the third time in his last four games.”We’re a different team with Brennan,” Mendenhall said. “The throws he can make, how tough he is when he scrambles, and just his leadership style. … He makes a difference for us, even though it hasn’t showed on the outcome yet.”Tar Heels coach Mack Brown expects a fight from the Cavaliers, regardless of their record.

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