Five turnovers send Cava­liers to their fifth loss of the sea­son

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - N. CAR­OLINA 26, VIR­GINIA 13 BY JOEDY MCCREARY — As­so­ci­ated Press

chapel hill, n.c. — North Car­olina didn’t need too much from its of­fense — not with new de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Gene Chizik’s group play­ing take­away like this.

The Tar Heels forced a sea­sonbest five turnovers in the sec­ond half of its 26-13 win over Vir­ginia on Satur­day, their sixth straight vic­tory.

“Coach Chizik and the rest of our coach­ing staff, they do a great job of let­ting us know our half­time ad­just­ments,” said de­fen­sive back Ma­lik Sim­mons, who had two in­ter­cep­tions. “They clear things up at half­time, and we just go from there.”

Eli­jah Hood rushed for 101 yards with two three-yard scor­ing runs, T.J. Lo­gan added a 16-yard touch­down and Nick Weiler kicked two field goals.

North Car­olina (6-1, 3-0 ACC) broke a 13-all half­time tie by scor­ing on its first three pos­ses­sions of the sec­ond half and pitched its sec­ond straight sec­ond-half shutout.

For Vir­ginia (2-5, 1-2), Taquan Mizzell rushed for 117 yards and Matt Johns was 17 for 30 for 148 yards with a one-yard touch­down pass to Char­lie Hop­kins.

Johns had one fum­ble and four in­ter­cep­tions in the sec­ond half and was picked off in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal with less than six min­utes left.

“You have that many turnovers and then you shorten the field like that, that makes it tough as well,” Vir­ginia Coach Mike Lon­don said. “There are some things that are work­ing for us, but we have to get every­thing work­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Vir­ginia’s first four losses were to teams that either are or have been ranked in the top 25. The Tar Heels, the na­tion’s only un­ranked one-loss team from a power con­fer­ence, hope to join that group when the new poll is re­leased Sun­day.

Marquise Wil­liams was 21 for 26 for 226 yards for the Tar Heels, who over­came two turnovers and a sea­son-worst 13 penal­ties for 135 yards and set up a game with huge Coastal Divi­sion im­pli­ca­tions Thurs­day night when they visit No. 25 Pitts­burgh.

“It’s a win. We’ll make it good,” North Car­olina Coach Larry Fe­dora said.

This was North Car­olina’s low­est-scor­ing win of the sea­son. The Tar Heels — who have the ACC’s most pro­duc­tive of­fense, av­er­ag­ing 482 to­tal yards and 40.5 points — had scored at least 38 points in each of their vic­to­ries.

Not that any­body’s com­plain­ing, not with the vastly im­proved de­fense play­ing like this. Chizik’s crew has held ev­ery op­po­nent ex­cept Georgia Tech (31) to either 13 or 14 points.

Hood capped North Car­olina’s longest drive of the sea­son — by yardage and time elapsed — with the touch­down that fi­nally gave the Tar Heels some breath­ing room.

On the first play of the fourth quar­ter, he plowed up the mid­dle and fell as he ex­tended his arm to­ward the goal line, and when the ball popped out, Vir­ginia’s Zach Brad­shaw scooped it up in the end zone. The of­fi­cials dis­cussed the play and called it a touch­down, and the de­ci­sion stood af­ter a re­view.

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