|North Carolina QB Bryn Renner and RB Giovani Bernard look to take advantage of a struggling Virginia Tech defense on Saturday. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
Spread: North Carolina by 4.5
Watchability: The unpredictability of how this game will play out makes it an intriguing viewing option during the early afternoon games. Virginia Tech has clearly underperformed, losing to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. North Carolina, meanwhile, has lost the two toughest games it has played against Wake Forest and Louisville.
Shining Stars: Virginia Tech: Logan Thomas has struggled with accuracy this season (52.7 completion percentage), but the Hokies ask a lot of their 6-6, 260-pound quarterback. LB Jack Tyler leads the team with 53 tackles, 20 more than any of his teammates. North Carolina: QB Bryn Renner leads the ACC with 14 touchdown passes, and he is completing 63.8 percent of his passes. RB Giovani Bernard has seven total touchdowns in the three games in which he has played.
Who could steal the show: Virginia Tech: RB Michael Holmes had 11 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown last week against Cincinnati. He put some life for a running game that has struggled. North Carolina: DT Sylvester Williams (6-3, 305) has 4.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss on the year. He could cause big problems for the interior of the Hokies' offensive line.
You going? Ranking the road trip: It's a “White Out” game in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels will be wearing white helmets for the first time since the 1960s, and it should be a good environment for arguably North Carolina's biggest home game of the season.
Magic number for Virginia Tech: 13. Since joining the ACC, Virginia Tech is a perfect 13-0 in true ACC road games played in the state of North Carolina. The Hokies are 4-0 in Chapel Hill.
Magic number for North Carolina: 10. North Carolina has not allowed a touchdown for 10 consecutive quarters, dating to the second quarter against Louisville. The Tar Heels also have not allowed a touchdown at home, albeit against weaker competition.
The game comes down to: Whether Virginia Tech can resolve its issues in the secondary. The Hokies gave up 392 passing yards to Cincinnati last week, the most they have given up since 2003. Renner could have a big day if a traditionally tough Virginia Tech pass defense doesn't get it together.
Prediction: North Carolina 30, Virginia Tech 24
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.