Tar Heels looking for the upset vs No. 10 Hokies

Rested and refreshed after a bye week, North Carolina

quarterback Bryn Renner and the Tar Heels are determined to show

that they are better than their 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference

record.

Renner figures Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium on a Thursday night

against 10th-ranked Hokies, one of the teams that has dominated

midweek games, is a great place to show what his team can really

do.

”I think it’s like Monday Night Football for college

football,” Renner said this week. ”You’re the only game on.

You’re the main event. It’s really awesome. You know the whole

world’s going to be watching, and you get a chance to prove to

everybody that you’re a good team.”

The bye week came at a great time for North Carolina (6-4

overall), especially for Renner. He sustained a concussion in the

Tar Heels’ 13-0 loss to N.C. State in their last outing, but

declared himself 100 percent ready to go this week. The rest of the

benefited from rest, too, he said.

”It was a huge relief, I think for our whole team, to just take

a break away from football and just take a rest,” the top-rated

quarterback in the league said. ”We’ve been going since August,

had a great training camp and then 10 weeks of the season. It’s

tough on your body.”

The Hokies (9-1, 5-1) might also be touch on the Tar Heels

because they have much to play for as well.

Virginia Tech has won five straight since losing at home to No.

7 Clemson and can possibly clinch its fourth trip to the league

championship game in the past five years this week. That would

require the Hokies to win and Virginia (7-3, 4-2) to lose at No. 23

Florida State on Saturday night, but senior wide receiver Danny

Coale isn’t worrying about possible scenarios.

”We definitely want to win every game. We’re practicing hard

and focused on this one,” he said Tuesday. ”If we win, whatever

happens, happens. The other side of it’s out of our hands.”

Besides, he said, it’s no secret how the Hokies feel about

Virginia.

”I plan on beating Virginia. That’s my goal, regardless of what

it’s for,” he said.

Virginia Tech also would extend the nation’s longest string of

10-win seasons with to eight, and avenge a stinging Thursday night

home loss to UNC two years ago. The Tar Heels won that game on a

21-yard field goal as time expired, one of just five losses in 23

Thursday night games for Tech.

Hokies coach Frank Beamer said he remembers that disappointment

well. The Tar Heels had blown a big lead against the Seminoles the

previous week, and the Hokies had lost at Georgia Tech.

”North Carolina came in here, they had a tough loss the week

before, they came in and played great,” Beamer said. ”I think

that they had a tough loss this time against N.C. State and we

expect them to come in here and play great. I think that’s just the

way it is.”

For Coale and the other seniors, it also will be their last home

game at Lane Stadium. Coale said he expects he will take in the

atmosphere more than normal, while Beamer hoped to get some of the

emotion out of the way a few days in advance.

Rather than the traditional end-of-practice gathering on the

field on Tuesday, the team and coaching staff convened inside and

shared thoughts about the outgoing players.

”If anything, I think you emphasize it because it’s not just

another game,” Beamer said. ”It’s going to be the last game at

Lane Stadium for these guys.

”I think all of us want to show our appreciation for

them.”

The way the Hokies look at it, the best way to do that comes at

game time.