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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Free Pick 10/5/13

North Carolina Tar Heels (1-3) at Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm (Lane Stadium)

The Line: Virginia Tech Hokies -7 -- Over/Under: 51 See the Latest Odds

TV: Gameplan/ESPN 3

The North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Virginia Tech to play the Hokies on Saturday afternoon.

The Tar Heels fell to 1-3 on the year after getting blown out at home by East Carolina 55-31 this past weekend. The Tar Heels offense produced 465 yards of offense, but only 67 yards on the ground. QB Renner was 28 of 46 for 366 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR Davis caught 5 balls for 111 yards and a score, while WR Thorpe caught 6 balls for 70 yards and a touchdown. RB Blue rushed 20 times for only 68 yards in the loss. The biggest problem of the day came on defense, as the Tar Heels allowed a whopping 603 yards to East Carolina. East Carolina had 36 first downs, 376 passing yards, 227 rushing yards, and 55 points against the North Carolina defense. This is a Tar Heel defense that allowed 27, 20, and 28 points in their first three games. North Carolina will head out on the road for the second time in conference play this weekend. The good news is the Tar Heels will face a less explosive offense this week. The bad news is North Carolina will face a tough Virginia Tech defense that ranks 23rd in the nation in points allowed.

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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Free Pick 10/5/13

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Hokies are coming off a big win at Georgia Tech, 17-10, and improved to 4-1 on the season. Virginia Tech earned their fourth straight win over the Yellow Jackets. QB Logan Thomas shook off a sluggish start to his senior season, while the Hokies defense shut down Georgia Tech’s proud running game. Thomas finished 19 of 25 for 221 yards and a touchdown for the Hokies, who produced 276 yards on offense in the win. Thomas also carried the ball 16 times and added 58 yards on the ground. WR Knowles and WR Byrn combined for 111 yards receiving on 9 catches for Virginia Tech. The Hokies defense played great, holding the Yellow Jackets to 273 yards and only 129 rushing yards. Virginia Tech forced 3 turnovers and did a good job getting off the field on 3rd down against Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech’s defense is one of the best units in the country and they will head home for their second conference game. The Hokies offense has shown signs of improvement, but ultimately their success rides on the shoulders of Thomas and whether or not he’s able to improve as a quarterback this year.

North Carolina is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 road games against a team with a winning home record. The Hokies are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS win, and 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record. The under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Virginia Tech, and 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.

These two teams have split the last four meetings, with North Carolina winning last year at home by 14 points. North Carolina looked terrible against East Carolina after they blew a second half lead at Georgia Tech two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has won four straight games after losing their season-opener to Alabama. The Hokies defense is outstanding and should cause the Tar Heels some problems in this game. North Carolina’s defense has not looked good and I think Virginia Tech will be able to put some points up on Saturday. I’m taking the home team to win this game by 10 points.

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