CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Jerod Evans threw for two scores and ran for another to help No. 25 Virginia Tech beat No. 17 North Carolina 34-3 on Saturday in heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew.
Sam Rogers and Chris Cunningham had scoring catches and the Hokies (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated the reigning Coastal Division champion Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1) in a surprising romp.
The Hokies had their share of weather-related troubles, including seven fumbles, multiple bobbled snaps and a season-low 264 yards.
But Bud Foster’s defense locked down on the Tar Heels and Mitch Trubisky, who entered as one of the nation’s top passers. UNC finished with 131 yards, with Trubisky throwing his first two interceptions of the year, while the Hokies scored 20 points off four turnovers.
UNC, playing without injured top tailback Elijah Hood, failed to score a touchdown for the first time under fifth-year coach Larry Fedora.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies have a new head coach in Justin Fuente, but there’s a familiar edge to this group. Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked defense won battles up front, while its offense did a much better job fighting through difficult weather conditions.
NORTH CAROLINA: The heavy rain and wind gusts don’t fully explain why the Tar Heels’ high-flying offense looked so, well, waterlogged. After two straight comeback wins against Pittsburgh and Florida State, they never got in rhythm, never regrouped and never responded as the Hokies pushed through them – a curious all-around clunker for a team that entered with a lot of momentum.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies play a cross-division game at Syracuse in their first meeting since 2003.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels travel to No. 10 Miami in another critical Coastal matchup, with the home teams winning the past two seasons by a combined 55 points.