Virginia Hosts NC State on Saturday at Noon
Oct. 24, 2006
Virginia concludes its three-game homestand Saturday afternoon with the first meeting against NC State in three years. The game is scheduled to kick off at noon and will be televised on the Lincoln Financial Sports/Raycom ACC football network.
Due to the unbalanced schedule that came about as a result of the recent conference expansion, the Cavaliers have not faced the Wolfpack since 2003 and haven’t hosted the `Pack since 2002. It is interesting to note that since the creation of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953, this isn’t the first gap in the series. The teams didn’t face each other as conference members until 1958 and also did not play in 1975-76.
The Cavaliers rebounded the last time out with a 23-0 win over North Carolina last Thursday night. Jason Snelling keyed a rejuvenated running attack with a career-high 131 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Redshirt freshman Jameel Sewell was very efficient once again and completed 17 of 25 passes for 166 yards, the second-highest total of his career. Equally as important, for the third time in five starts he did not throw an interception.
Snelling’s big night highlighted a season-high 194 yards on the ground for the Cavaliers. Virginia has rushed for more than three times as many yards in the last four games as the previous four (634 to 204). During this span, the Cavaliers are averaging 158.5 yards per game.
Sewell has set every freshman passing record for a Cavalier freshman and ranks 10th in the ACC in passing efficiency. He is currently ninth among freshmen passers in the nation in passing efficiency, eighth in completion percentage, tied for 10th in touchdown passes and 11th in yards.
The defense is ranked 24th in the country and has kept the Cavaliers in virtually every game this season. They pitched their second shutout of the season against North Carolina last Thursday, the first time in 16 years Virginia has posted two ACC shutouts.
NC State has lost its last two games by a combined eight points, including last Saturday’s 26-20 loss at Maryland. The Wolfpack is 3-4 overall and is fifth place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division with a 2-2 record. They are winless on the road this season, losing both road contests so far.
Both teams come into this game with sub-.500 records, the first time in 35 years that both have losing records at game time. Each team came into that 1971 game with 1-6 records. Virginia moved to 2-6 with a 14-10 win. Perhaps it’s strange to note that this is only the third time since the formation of the ACC that both teams have losing records for this game (both teams were 2-4 in 1966).