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North Carolina vs. Virginia: ACC Football Thursday Night Showcase

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Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Virginia Cavaliers (+3.5)
ESPN – 7:30 p.m.
XM 91 – SIRIUS 91
#UNCvsUVA

So who is ready for another exciting ESPN Thursday Night ACC Football game!

Third time is the charm, right?

Well,let’s hope as the North Carolina Tar Heels travel to face the Virginia Cavaliers with kickoff here in just a few hours. The Tar Heels enter the game fresh off giving up 68 points to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Virginia on the other had has finally decided to show up for the 2012 season and make its run to a bowl game with a huge 41-40 victory in the final seconds over the Miami Hurricanes.

So what does all this mean?

Drama as usual…

This is the South’s Oldest Rivalry that dates back to 1892.

That’s a long time…

Carolina leads the 116 game series with a 58-54-4 margin including the last two years. But Virginia has owned the last 20 years with a 13-7 mark.

So what will give in this game?

Probably a lot of offense the way both defenses have played over the past few weeks. In the history of this game, the highest scoring contest was in 2004 that the Cavaliers won 56-24. There is no doubt that the Tar Heels have better talent that has lived up to its potential.

Virginia has a lot of talent that is still trying to figure out what their potential is. But the bottom line is this, Carolina does not have a post season and every game remaining is a bowl game…

versus…

A desperate Cavalier squad whose season is over with one more loss…

Oh decisions, decisions…

UNC always finds a way to play bad against UVA. And Carolina is without is all-everything kicker Casey Barth for the rest of the season.

Carolina will find a way to win on the foot of the walk-on kicker, but they will not cover, 43-41.

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M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in
professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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Phantom Offsides Penalty Costs North Carolina

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All season long, we’ve been hearing about how bad the officiating has been in the NFL. On Saturday night, we saw how much damage bad calls can do in college football as well.

During the ACC title game, the North Carolina Tar Heels were making one final push to steal the crown from the Clemson Tigers. After scoring a quick touchdown in the waning minutes of the game, the Tar Heels lined up for an onside kick — and recovered it after a few Tigers mishandled the ball. However, a flag came flying in for an offsides penalty. The only problem was that no Tar Heel was offsides.

Just look for yourself:

Am I missing something, or were there zero Tar Heels offsides on that play?

The closest player was still about two yards from the line. Obviously a recovery wouldn’t have guaranteed a North Carolina touchdown, but it certainly kept them from getting the opportunity they earned.

The Tigers recovered the next onside kick, and ran out the clock, securing the ACC crown and a spot in the 2015 College Football Playoff.

The ACC title came down to a phantom offsides call that cost North Carolina big.

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