North Carolina Postgame Notes
North Carolina Postgame Notes – UNC vs. Virginia • October 16, 2010
• North Carolina’s 44-10 victory was the Tar Heels’ first win in Charlottesville since 1981. Carolina had lost 14 straight at UVA before today’s game.
• The 44 points scored by Carolina marked the most against Virginia since scoring 48 in 1997 in Chapel Hill. It was also the most in Charlottesville since the Tar Heels scored 49 in 1946.
• Carolina’s 34-point margin of victory is the second-largest margin for UNC at Virginia in the ACC era. The biggest margin of victory was a 42-0 win in 1958. The 34-point win is the largest margin of victory against an ACC team in a road game since a 38-3 win at Clemson in 2001 and equals the largest margin of victory for Carolina against any opponent under Butch Davis. UNC also beat The Citadel, 40-6, in 2009.
• Carolina scored on the first play from scrimmage, an 81-yard touchdown strike from T.J. Yates to Dwight Jones. The score, which happened with 14:43 remaining in the first quarter, marked the earliest UNC had scored in a game since Wallace Wright returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Boston College in 2005. The Wright touchdown also occurred with just 17 seconds gone from the clock. Earlier in 2005, Brandon Tate returned the opening kickoff against Utah for a touchdown, a play that took just 13 seconds.
• The Yates-to-Jones hookup was the ninth-longest pass play and the 10th pass play of over 80 yards in UNC history. Earlier this season against LSU, Yates connected with Jheranie Boyd on a 97-yard touchdown that was the longest pass play in Carolina history. The Jones reception was also the longest pass play against UVA since 2003 (South Carolina, 99 yards).
• Yates finished 17 of 22 for 325 yards and three touchdowns, his fourth career 300+ yard game and his second of the season. The senior quarterback has now completed 634 of 1037 attempts for 7454 yards and 49 touchdowns in his career, moving him into 19th place in ACC history in passing yards. Yates is also second in UNC history in attempts, completions, yards and TDs.
• In the first half alone, Yates completed 12 of 16 attempts for 249 yards and three touchdowns. He threw touchdown passes of 81 yards and 20 yards to Dwight Jones and a 1-yard to Zack Pianalto. Yates had more yards in the first half of today’s game than he had in 12 of the 13 games last season.
• Tonight’s opening score marked the second time in Yates’ career that he has thrown a touchdown pass on his first attempt of a game. He completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Foster against James Madison in 2007. That was also Yates’ first career pass attempt.
• Jones finished with a career-high 198 receiving yards, including 119 in the first quarter, on a career-best seven catches. His previous high was 43 yards vs. ECU earlier this year. Jones had touchdown catches of 81 and 20 yards. He also had a 54-yard reception to the 1-yard line, which led to another TD. The previous high for a Tar Heel receiver against Virginia was Sam Aiken’s 179 yards in 2002.
• Pianalto had a 1-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter to give UNC a 27-3 lead. It was Pianalto’s first scoring catch since last year’s Connecticut game and the third of his career. Pianalto also had a 46-yard reception in the first quarter, the longest of his career. He finished the game with three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown and now has 30 catches for 311 yards. Last season, he set the UNC single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 33 catches for 334 yards. Pianalto fractured his right fibula in the game.
• North Carolina’s 17 first-quarter points were more than the Tar Heels had scored in either of their previous two visits to Charlottesville. The Tar Heels’ 27 first-half points are the most UNC has scored against Virginia in a game since 2002.
• Carolina had five interceptions in the game, the most since the Tar Heels picked off five Boston College passes in 2009. UNC finished the night with 95 interception return yards and now has 199 on the season.
• Senior Matt Merletti grabbed his second interception of the season late in the fourth quarter.
• Senior safety Da’Norris Searcy tallied his second interception of the season in the third quarter, giving him two in three games after missing the first four games of the season. It was the third interception of his career.
• Sophomore linebacker Kevin Reddick returned a Virginia pass 22 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was his second pick of the season and of his career and the score was the first of his career.
• Junior linebacker Zach Brown, who started in place of Quan Sturdivant, had a 70-yard interception return in the second quarter. It was the second of Brown’s career. He also had an interception last year vs. Georgia Southern.
• True freshman defensive end Tim Jackson grabbed his first career interception in the opening quarter Saturday.
• Place kicker Casey Barth converted all five extra points attempts in the game, giving him 55 consecutive made PATs. He also made field goals of 36, 34 and 32 yards, his three longest conversions of the season.
• Redshirt freshman quarterback Bryn Renner saw action in the fourth quarter and completed his only pass attempt, a 14-yard strike to tight end Ed Barham. It was the first completion of his career.
• Carolina scored on its first five possessions Saturday (three touchdowns and two field goals). The Tar Heels scored on their first two possessions against Georgia Tech, which was their previous best in 2010.
• After not leading at halftime in any of its first four games, Carolina led after 30 minutes for the second week in a row.