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