Virginia hoping its defense can slow high-scoring No. 17 UNC

No. 17 North Carolina (7-1, 4-0 ACC) at Virginia (3-5, 1-4), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ACC Network)

Line: North Carolina by 7 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: North Carolina leads 64-58-4.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Tar Heels can start 5-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2015 with a victory. That year they were 8-0 in the conference and made their lone appearance in the ACC championship. Virginia is trying to bounce back from a 14-12 loss to Miami in which it managed just four field goals. They need to win three of four to qualify for a bowl.

KEY MATCHUP

UNC QB Drake Maye against the Virginia defense. The Cavaliers have not allowed an offensive touchdown in two games and had eight sacks in their 16-9 victory at Georgia Tech two weeks ago, but no one has seemed to slow Maye. He’s thrown for 29 touchdowns and has just three interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

North Carolina: WR Antoine Green. Josh Downs is the Tar Heels’ top receiver with 48 catches and seven touchdowns, but Green has emerged in the last two games as a threat to penalize spending too much attention to Downs. In victories against Duke and Pittsburgh, he’s caught 14 passes for 292 yards with three touchdowns.

Virginia: LB Chico Bennett Jr. He leads the ACC with seven sacks, six of them solo. Along with ACC tackles leader Nick Jackson, Bennett will have a huge role in trying to prevent Maye from continuing to light up the scoreboard.

FACTS & FIGURES

The game has long been billed as the south’s oldest rivalry, and only Minnesota and Wisconsin (131 meetings) have played more frequently in the Bowl Subdivision. … UNC coach Mack Brown has a 4-9 career record against Virginia. … The Tar Heels won 59-39 last year in the highest scoring game in rivalry history. Virginia lost despite Brennan Armstrong throwing for 554 yards, the most ever allowed by UNC. … The Cavaliers are in week two of a four-game homestand, the first for the program on four consecutive Saturdays since 1970.

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