North Carolina vs Virginia Tech NCAAF

North Carolina vs Virginia Tech NCAAF | Sam Howell On Display

The first ranked college football team in action on Friday in Week 1 is No. 10 North Carolina and quarterback/Heisman Trophy candidate Sam Howell as the Tar Heels are favored on the NCAAF odds when they visit ACC foe Virginia Tech.

How to Bet North Carolina at Virginia Tech NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 6 PM ET
  • Where: Lane Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: UNC -5.5 (total 64)

Last Meeting

In 2020, North Carolina won 56-45 at Virginia Tech. Michael Carter ran for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns — including a 62-yarder midway through the fourth quarter – and Javonte Williams rushed for 169 yards and two scores of his own. UNC had a whopping 399 yards rushing. It was only the second time in program history that the Tar Heels had seen two players crack the 150-yard mark in the same game. Sam Howell had three TD passes. Khalil Herbert ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Virginia Tech.

Why Bet on North Carolina?

Carolina is ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press preseason poll, marking the first time since 1997 the Tar Heels have opened a season ranked in the Top 10. Mack Brown guided UNC to a No. 7 preseason ranking that year. With 259 career victories, Brown has produced the most wins of any active coach in the nation.

The Tar Heels enter the season with preseason ACC Player of the Year Sam Howell at quarterback and an experienced offensive line, but Howell will be surrounded with an entirely new group of skill players. Howell has thrown for 7,227 yards (64.4%) with 68 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his two seasons and has nine 300-yard games under his belt. North Carolina set school records last year averaging 41.7 points per game (No. 9 nationally) and 537.2 yards (No. 5).

Ty Chandler will enter as the UNC top running back. The transfer from Tennessee played in 45 games and made 25 starts with the Vols. He totaled 2,015 rushing yards and ranks fifth in UT history in all-purpose yards with 3,245. Chandler scored 17 career touchdowns (13 rushing, three receiving, one kickoff return).

Senior wideout Beau Corrales has been ruled out for Friday’s game, however. Corrales also missed a significant portion of the 2020 season due to a sports hernia. He is expected to be a key figure in the passing game for the Tar Heels, but Corrales still hasn’t fully recovered from a lower body injury that limited him throughout fall camp. Fellow wideout Khafre Brown and center Brian Anderson have been battling injuries but are expected to play.

The Tar Heels last opened a season against the Hokies back in 1946, a game played in Chapel Hill that ended in a 14-14 tie. UNC is 3-6 all-time on the road at Virginia Tech. That includes a 2-6 mark since the Hokies joined the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2004 season.

UNC is 84-42-4 in season-opening games, including a 37-31 mark since the ACC was formed in 1953. Brown is 26-6 all-time in season openers, including 10-2 as UNC’s head coach.

Why Bet on Virginia Tech?

Braxton Burmeister returns as the Tech QB and he was 3-1 as the starter last year. After transferring from Oregon in 2019 and battling for playing time throughout 2020, Burmeister did not face much competition for the starting quarterback role after Hendon Hooker and Quincy Patterson II transferred from Virginia Tech. Burmeister’s big play potential is evident and was showcased last season. Although he was struggling with consistency, he had at least a 45-plus yard pass play in four of his five games last season. Burmeister’s father was a linebacker at UNC from 1983-86.

All five of Tech’s top receivers from 2020 return: WR Tayvion Robinson (38 catches), WR Tre’ Turner (34), TE James Mitchell (26), RB Raheem Blackshear (28) and TE Nick Gallo (11). Tech boasts five offensive linemen who own a combined 92 collegiate starts – Brock Hoffman (35), Lecitus Smith (27), Silas Dzansi (16), Johnny Jordan (16) and Luke Tenuta (14). Two of VT’s top three tacklers from 2020 return in DB Chamarri Conner (81 tackles), LB Alan Tisdale (75).

Virginia Tech owns an 12-3 record against teams from the state of North Carolina under coach Justin Fuente: 4-1 vs. UNC, 4-1 vs. Duke, 2-0 vs. East Carolina, 1-0 vs. NC State and 1-1 vs. Wake Forest. VT owns a combined 36-10 all-time record in ACC play against teams from the state of North Carolina: 14-3 vs. Duke, 13-4 vs. UNC, 5-1 vs. NC State and 4-2 vs. WF.

Tech has averaged 40.6 ppg in five meetings with UNC under Fuente. VT is 28-7 when scoring 30+ points under Fuente and 13-1 when scoring 40+ points. That lone loss was a 56-45 decision at UNC (10/10/20). VT is 32-2 under Fuente when holding foes to 21 points or fewer. Tech has won 26 straight games when holding foes to 17 points or fewer.

Game Trends

  • North Carolina are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • North Carolina are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games against Virginia Tech.
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of North Carolina’s last 15 games on the road.
  • North Carolina are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Virginia Tech.
  • North Carolina are 3-8 SU in their last 11 games played in September.

Expert Prediction

  • North Carolina 31, Virginia Tech 27

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