The South’s Oldest Rivalry
• Virginia and North Carolina will meet for the 125th time in the South’s Oldest Rivalry, a series that began in 1892.
• The game will start at 8 p.m. and air live on the ACC Network
Virginia vs. North Carolina
• UVA trails the all-time series with North Carolina, 63-57-4.
• There is a difference in the series record between the two schools because of the game in 1956 that North Carolina forfeited for using an ineligible player. All of UNC’s games in 1956 were forfeited by conference action. Both schools count the 1956 game as a win.
• Saturday’s game will tie the rivalry for the second-longest series in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history. The “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” between Auburn and Georgia for decades was one game behind the UVA/UNC rivalry, but an extra meeting in 2017 (SEC Championship) has brought them even.
• The two schools have met every season since 1919 and there have been only four seasons since 1900 when they did not meet (1906, 1909 and 1917-18, when football was postponed at both schools because of World War I).
Five Top Storylines
• The Cavaliers have faced the Tar Heels more than any other school (124) in program history.
• Virginia is playing on Halloween for the 17th time and for the first time since 2015 against Georgia Tech. UVA is 7-9 all-time on Halloween and Saturday’s game is only the Cavaliers’ fifth Halloween game at Scott Stadium (1981, 1992, 2009, 2015).
• For UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall, Saturday marks the 200th game in his head coaching career. He previously coached 142 games at BYU and Saturday will be his 58th at UVA. He will become one of eight active coaches with a career winning percentage over .600 with at least 200 FBS career games coached.
• WR Billy Kemp IV has 41 receptions this season. Kemp’s 41 receptions are the most by a Cavalier in program history through the first five games of a season.
• Kemp is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 10 in the nation with 8.2 receptions per game.
• ILB Nick Jackson leads the ACC with 10.6 tackles per game. Last time out he recorded a career-high 16 tackles at then-No. 11 Miami.
Mendenhall vs. Brown
• Saturday is the fourth all-time meeting between UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall and UNC head coach Mack Brown, but just the second at their respective schools.
• The two previous meetings came when Mendenhall was the head coach at BYU and Brown the head coach at Texas. Mendenhall came out on top in the last BYU/Texas meeting during the 2013 season when his BYU Cougars defeated then-No. 15 Texas, 40-21, in Austin. Brown barely won the first meeting in 2012 when then-No. 21 Texas beat BYU, 17-16, in Austin.
The Most Offense Typically Wins
• In UVA vs. UNC games since 1940, the winning team has out-rushed the loser 58 of 77 times, with one game featuring the same yardage for both.
• The winning team has had more offensive yards 70 times and has been outgained just 16 times since 1940. UNC was the most recent team (2019) to outgain UVA and lose (539-517).
• The loser has outgained the winner just nine times since 1975, but it has happened seven times in the last 19 years, including in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2019.
On the Ground
• Since 2006, the Tar Heels have averaged 142.1 rushing yards per game vs. the Cavaliers, with UVA winning seven of the last 13 meetings.
• In contrast, UVA has averaged 150.4 rushing yards per game vs. the Tar Heels since 2006.
• Since 1996, UNC has scored 20 rushing touchdowns with three coming in 2015 and two coming in 1997, 2011 and 2016. In contrast, UVA has scored 33 times on the ground in that span.
• In the last 24 games, UNC’s offense has scored 60 touchdowns, with 39 coming in six games (1997, 2002, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2019), while the defense has scored nine touchdowns (eight interceptions and one punt return).
Turnovers Make a Difference
• Since 1982, the Cavaliers are 16-3-1 when committing fewer turnovers than the Tar Heels. The losses occurred in 1995, 2001 and 2016, while the tie was in 1984.
• Over the last 11 years, North Carolina has committed 19 turnovers, while UVA has committed 22 (which includes 10 combined from the 2010 & 2015 games).
• North Carolina is 10-2 vs. Virginia when committing fewer turnovers.
• There have been six games since 1982 where each team committed the same number of miscues and Virginia has won five (1985, 1988, 2003, 2018, 2019).
• The 2019 meeting, neither team turned the ball over and UVA won, 38-31.
Nature of the Rivalry
• There is a strong historical lineage and academic standing between UVA and UNC.
• UVA was founded by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, while UNC was the first operational state university in the United States.
• UVA had its writer-in-residence William Faulkner, while UNC is the alma mater of Thomas Wolfe.
• President Woodrow Wilson attended UVA and was president of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, while President James K. Polk attended UNC.
• UVA and UNC were also the first future members of the ACC to be elected to the prestigious Association of American Universities. UVA was elected in 1904 and UNC in 1922.
• UVA was the opponent for the dedication game at UNC’s Kenan Stadium in 1927.
• Kenan Stadium was used as a model by the designers of Scott Stadium.
First Family Takes in 1928 Meeting
• President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace, attended the 1928 Virginia vs. North Carolina Thanksgiving Day football game at UVA’s Lambeth Field. The President was joined by the governors of both Virginia (Gov. Harry F. Byrd) and North Carolina (H.W. Chase). Over 20,000 spectators attended UNC’s 24-20 win 91 years ago. Lambeth Field’s grandstand only sat 8,000. Additional temporary bleachers helped hold the overflow crowd.
• UVA hosts Duke, North Carolina and NC State at Scott Stadium in 2020. It marks just the fourth time the Cavaliers will host all three schools from the Triangle at Scott Stadium in the same season. This has also happened in 1958, 1967 and 1969.
• UVA is 1-1 against Triangle teams this season with a win over Duke and a loss to NC State. In 1958, 1967 and 1969 UVA went 1-2 at Scott Stadium against Triangle teams.
Virginia – North Carolina Connections
• UNC head coach Mack Brown’s daughter, Barbara, teaches urban planning for the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture.
• UNC’s senior advisor to the head coach, Sparky Woods, was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Virginia in 1997-98 where he oversaw an offense that boasted future NFL talents like Thomas Jones, Germane Crowell and Aaron Brooks.
Home Sweet Home
• Virginia returns home to Scott Stadium for the third time in 2020.
• UVA is winners of 13 of its last 15 games at Scott Stadium, dating back to the start of the 2018 season.
• With UVA’s four-game losing streak, UVA will look to use the friendly confines of Scott Stadium to get back in the W column. UVA has only led for a combined 30:47 this season, all of which came in the Duke game at Scott Stadium.
• UVA has experienced good success in Charlottesville against UNC. From 1983-2008, UVA won 14 in a row at Scott Stadium against North Carolina. The Cavaliers experienced a five-game home losing streak to UNC (2010-2016), but won the last time the Tar Heels came to Scott Stadium in 2018. UVA has won 15 of the last 20 meetings with UNC in Charlottesville.
Jackson Is Trending toward the Vicinity of Former UVA All-Americans
• ILB Nick Jackson leads the ACC in tackles per game with 10.6 per game. He also ranks No. 23 in the nation.
• Since 2000, Jackson is only the third different Cavalier to record at least 50 tackles through the first five games of the season. The other two were All-Americans FS Quin Blanding and ILB Micah Kiser.
• Kiser, a current starter for the Los Angeles Rams, is only the second player in ACC history to lead the league in tackles three seasons in a row (2015-17), joining Luke Kuechly (2009-11).
• Blanding is the only player in ACC history to finish No. 2 in tackles four years in a row. No one had done it three times until Blanding did it. Blanding is UVA’s all-time leading tackler (495).
Poljan Bringing the Tight End Back TO UVA
• TE Tony Poljan, a grad transfer from Central Michigan, has 22 receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns this season.
• Since 2000, only Virginia tight end Heath Miller (22) in 2003 had as many receptions as Poljan has had through the first five games. Poljan’s three touchdowns is one more than what Miller had in 2003. Miller went on to notch 70 receptions for 835 yards and six touchdowns in 2003.
• Since 2001, UVA tight ends have accumulated 803 receptions, 8,329 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns, by far the best in the ACC over that span.
• From that list of tight ends, 10 have enjoyed careers in the NFL with seven lasting 3+ years.
Poljan One of the Nation’s More productive Tight ends
• TE Tony Poljan is tied for No. 4 in the nation among tight ends with 22 receptions.
• The ACC boasts three of the nation’s Top 4 tight ends in regards to receptions.
• Of all the tight ends in the Top 5, Poljan is the only one who doesn’t lead his team or is No. 2 in receptions as he is third behind WR Billy Kemp IV (41) and WR Terrell Jana (25).