BLACKSBURG, Va. – The 2-0 Tarheels are led by sophomore quarterback Sam Howell, and are partly powered by a strong-run game.
“They certainly are dangerous,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “They have that ability to take the ball to the house. Take an 8 yard gain and make it an 80 yard gain.”
Fuente plans to create pressure for Howell using his defensive ends, like Amare Barno who had four tackles and two sacks at Duke.
“They have a lot of skill everywhere, they do a lot of different things,” Barno said. “Get back there, get your hands up, try to make them tuck the ball, get after it.”
But North Carolina, and anyone playing the Hokies for that matter, has to look out for Khalil Herbert, who rushed for 208 yards against Duke.
“Khalil is just one of those backs that even when the offensive line messes up a little bit, he’ll still be able to make the correction on the play and make it a big play for us,” tackle Doug Nester said.
But when he gets on special teams, the film speaks for itself. Herbert set a program record of 358 all-purpose yards at Duke.
“VT is really known for special teams and it’s something we take pride in,” Herbert said. “Just being able to get guys on the field that know what they’re doing and do a good job at it. We’re just correcting those mistakes from all areas of special teams and taking it this week to get better.”
Herbert is certainly a Heisman Trophy contender, but he’s taking it one week at a time.
“I’m not too worried about it right now, just trying to focus it on UNC,” he said. “We have a big game this weekend, so just trying to get ready, practice hard, and do the same thing.”
Kick off is slated for noon and will be televised on ABC.