Unbeaten Virginia steps up in class to face No. 21 North Carolina

9/14/2021 3:14:33 PM EST

Virginia looks for its first road win against a Top 25 opponent since 2011 when it visits No. 21 North Carolina for an Atlantic Coast Conference game Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Head coach Mack Brown of the Tar Heels (1-1, 0-1 ACC) feels the visiting Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0) aren't getting enough respect.

"They should be rated higher than they are," Mack said. "They should be rated higher than we are. They've dominated two games."

Lately Virginia has also dominated the series against UNC, billed as the "South's Oldest Rivalry." This is their 126th meeting dating back to 1892, with the Cavaliers sweeping the last four contests.

"It's not even on my mind," UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said when asked about his recent success against the Heels. "Looking back doesn't help anyone. We're focusing only on today and today's preparation and then we'll do the same tomorrow, and we'll do the same until we show up to play."

The Cavaliers dominated Illinois in a 42-14 victory last Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. Brennan Armstrong passed for 405 yards and five touchdowns, 6-foot-7 tight end Jelani Woods caught five passes for 122 yards and one score, and Dontayvion Wicks caught two TDs.

This is the first of five games for Virginia against teams currently ranked in the Top 25, including road games at No. 24 Miami (Sept. 30) and No. 23 BYU (Oct. 30).

The Tar Heels began the season ranked No. 10 before losing their ACC opener at Virginia Tech.

"After the opening ball game, we had to quit worrying about rankings and we had to quit worrying about the conference," Brown said. "We had to play better and get back on track."

Fueled by Sam Howell, North Carolina did just that with a 59-17 home thumping of Georgia State last Saturday night.

Howell passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards and two more scores, including a career-long 62-yard scamper. The only other Tar Heels quarterback with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game was Marquise Williams against Notre Dame in 2014.

In two meetings with the Cavaliers, Howell is 38-of-57 passing for 796 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

Brown announced that cornerback Ladaeson DeAndre Hollins is out for the season with a lower-body injury suffered against Georgia State. Guard Joshua Ezeudu and running backs British Brooks and D.J. Jones will be evaluated during the week before their status for Saturday is determined. Safety Ja'Qurious Conley left Saturday's game with an injury to his left hand and re-entered the game wearing a cast.

As for Virginia, Armstrong was treated in the medical tent during the Illinois game for an apparent leg/knee injury before returning to the field.

"Anytime your quarterback has anything, I'm concerned," Mendenhall said. "I haven't heard, which is always good news, otherwise I would have got texts and emails and alerts and reminders. I haven't had any of that."

Defensive end Adeeb Atariwa was in street clothes for the Illini game but Mendenhall is "hopeful" he can play this Saturday.

--Field Level Media

NFL

Wed, 15 Sep 2021 22:09:42 EST Defensive force T.J. Watt leads Steelers against Raiders
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 21:32:28 EST Bengals' hot offense to meet Bears' struggling defense
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:31:00 EST Browns battle injuries ahead of Texans’ visit
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:29:04 EST Bills facing added pressure to win in Miami
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:22:52 EST Cowboys take aim at Justin Herbert, Chargers
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:17:10 EST Trevor Lawrence seeks first win against Von Miller, Broncos
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 19:48:06 EST Matthew Stafford heads back to Midwest to face Colts
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 19:33:15 EST Familiarity may give neither team edge in Chiefs-Ravens
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:56:54 EST Rookie quarterback battle looms in Patriots-Jets
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:47:30 EST Falcons staring at 0-2 start with trip to Tampa

MLB

Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:54:31 EST Kyle Hendricks, Cubs attempt to win series at Philadelphia
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:36:01 EST Giants aim to bounce back in finale vs. Padres
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:08:37 EST MLB roundup: Padres halt Giants' 9-game winning streak
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:39:42 EST Jordan Montgomery, Yankees chase sweep of Orioles
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:00:17 EST A's pursue series victory at Kansas City
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:33:04 EST Reynaldo Lopez, White Sox attempt to take series vs. Angels
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:25:00 EST Reds seek to snap four-game skid vs. Pirates
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:23:01 EST German Marquez, Rockies try to complete sweep of Braves
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 02:11:18 EST Padres snap Giants' nine-game winning streak
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 01:54:47 EST Dodgers sweep D-backs, gain game on Giants

NBA

Wed, 15 Sep 2021 23:54:40 EST Lisa Byington makes history as Bucks' new announcer
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:41:28 EST Timberwolves re-sign Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 13:02:50 EST Grizzlies officially waive C Marc Gasol
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:47:39 EST Cedric Ceballos out of ICU, needs help breathing, walking
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 16:35:12 EST Report: NBA won’t mandate vaccine for players
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 16:27:59 EST Report: Aaron Gordon signs four-year extension with Nuggets
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 19:28:33 EST Ex-Hornets coach, ABA player Gene Littles dies at 78
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 14:21:59 EST Reports: John Wall, Rockets looking for trade partner
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 12:31:58 EST Report: Coaches allowed to ditch suits again in 2021-22
Fri, 10 Sep 2021 22:43:03 EST Reports: Cavaliers add G/F Denzel Valentine on 2-year deal

NHL

Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:40:15 EST Coyotes tab John Ferguson Jr. as assistant GM
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 20:16:44 EST Two-time Stanley Cup champion Fred Stanfield dies at 77
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 13:07:00 EST Blues re-sign F Tyler Bozak to one-year deal
Tue, 14 Sep 2021 11:45:23 EST Red Wings re-sign F Givani Smith to 2-year contract
Mon, 13 Sep 2021 13:12:28 EST Blue Jackets replace assistant coach who refuses vax
Fri, 10 Sep 2021 14:37:48 EST Flames sign D Erik Gudbranson to one-year contract
Fri, 10 Sep 2021 13:00:23 EST Zach Parise reaches deal with Islanders
Thu, 09 Sep 2021 12:46:03 EST Bruins' Patrice Bergeron to decide on future after season
Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:58:55 EST David Backes retires after signing one-day contract with Blues
Wed, 08 Sep 2021 17:36:47 EST Sidney Crosby out at least 6 weeks after wrist surgery