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Virginia Cavaliers fall to North Carolina 26-13 in Chapel Hill

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers fell short against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 120th edition of the South's Oldest Rivalry. The Hoos managed to hold UNC to their lowest point output since their opening loss against South Carolina, but ended on the losing side of a 26-13 game in Chapel Hill. With the loss, UVA falls to 2-5 and 1-2 in ACC play, while UNC moves to 6-1 (3-0).

The game was closer than the 17-point Vegas line suggested, as the defense held the high-powered Tar Heel offense to just 16 points through 3 quarters. While the unit was gashed by UNC's two first-half touchdown drives (one of which resulted in a missed two-point conversion attempt), they also made the types of big plays they've struggled with to date. The game started with a forced fumble that the team turned into a field goal, and Quin Blanding grabbed the team's first interception of the season.

But the offense ultimately didn't have quite enough to stay with the Heels.  Twice in the first half, the team drove into the red zone but was forced to settle for a pair of field goals. UVA was also forced to punt when Coach London's decision to go for it on 4th and 6 from inside the 40 came in late, and a false start resulted.  Matt Johns threw four interceptions and fumbled another, though one was the fault of Canaan Severin, who let a pass bounce off his hands.  One pick came on fourth down from the UNC 6, and essentially ended UVA's hopes for a comeback bid.

On the bright side, Smoke Mizzell continued where he left off, running for 117 yards and gaining 57 through the air, showing off the quickness and agility he is known for. Daniel Hamm broke a 53-yard run as well, as the team finished with a season-high 205 rushing yards.

The Tar Heels have made a legitimate case to be mentioned with Clemson and Florida State as the class of the ACC, and a road victory may have been too much to ask for. But a loss in the South's Oldest Rivalry hurts, and Mike London is now 0-6 in this series.