Virginia in a Must-Win Situation Against Surging North Carolina
November 12, 1998
Virginia knew it wouldn’t be easy to beat Florida State last week. No lessthan 39 teams in a row have tried and failed. But no one would have predictedthat the then-12th-ranked Cavaliers would suffer an embarrassing 45-14 defeat.
Now the Cavs face a must-win situation on Saturday against the surging TarHeels in order to keep their post-season hopes alive.
The No. 21 Cavaliers (7-2, 5-2 ACC) kissed the ACC championship goodbye lastweek as Florida State took advantage of every hole it could find.
Virginia never made it into Florida State territory in the second half.Quarterback Aaron Brooks had a nightmare of a game, passing for just 96 yardsand four interceptions. Three were in the second half, and all four were turnedinto touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter, the Seminoles scored 17 unanswered points in underfour minutes.
“When they had a chance, Florida State went for the throat,” said tightend Casey Crawford. “They went for the kill.”
But that game is over, and Virginia coach George Welsh is focused on thepost-season.
“If we get the eighth win now, it’s going to make a big difference in theeyes of the postseason people,” Welsh said. “There’s a big difference betweenseven and eight wins.”
Last year, the Cavaliers went 7-4 (5-3 in the ACC) and missed a bowlinvitation. The Cavs face No. 16 Virginia Tech on Nov. 28 to end the season.
North Carolina (4-4, 3-2) started at 0-3, but has won four out of its lastfive games. Last week the Tar Heels beat Maryland 24-13, led by wide receiverNa Brown, who had 142 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tar Heels have been hot, but Virginia has dominated them at home,beating them nine in a row going back to 1981.