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On paper, Virginia has a heavy advantage over North Carolina

Virginia matches up very well against North Carolina

NCAA Football: Duke at Virginia
Cav Man could be celebrating a lot in Chapel Hill
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Each week when we break down the matchup stats for the Streaking the Lawn preview infographic The Column, there are a couple stats that jump out where the Virginia Cavaliers have the statistical matchup advantage. Last week vs. Duke it was third downs and sacks, and against Boise State it was defensive passing yards. This week against the 1-5 North Carolina Tar Heels, it is much harder, because the 4-1 Hoos have the advantage straight down the column.

When UVA has the ball, they have the advantage across the board. Below is where both teams rank nationally:

Category UVA Category UNC
Category UVA Category UNC
Scoring Offense 63 Scoring Defense 102
Yards Offense 67 Yards Defense 114
Passing Offense 31 Passing Defense 73
Rushing Offense 105 Rushing Defense 121
3rd down Offense 10 3rd down Defense 84
Passing Effeciency 64 Passing Effeciency Defense 90
First Downs 69 First Downs Defense 120
Sacks Allowed 34 Team Sacks 66
Tackles for a Loss Allowed 57 Tackles for a Loss 72

The Cavaliers only rank 105th in the country in rushing yards, but UNC is even worse at rushing defense at 121st. The biggest advantage is in third down conversions in which Virginia is ranked 10th at converting 49.4% while the Tar Heels are allowing 40.4%, which is only 84th in the country.

On the flip side of the ball, the numbers are even more in the Hoos favor:

Category UVA Category UNC
Category UVA Category UNC
Scoring Defense 39 Scoring Offense 89
Yards Defense 24 Yards Offense 89
Passing Defense 27 Passing Offense 60
Rushing Defense 42 Rushing Offense 94
3rd down Defense 11 3rd down Offense 121
Passing Effeciency Defense 16 Passing Effeciency 99
First Downs Defense 39 First Downs 66
Team Sacks 24 Sacks Allowed 75
Tackles for a Loss 57 Tackles for a Loss Allowed 72

UNC is only 89th in offensive scoring and yards while UVA is in the top 40 in the defensive counterpart. Again the largest difference is in 3rd down conversions where the Tar Heels offensive ranks 121st out of 129 FBS teams, while the Cavaliers defense is 11th.

Other areas, like turnovers and penalties, also favor Virginia:

Category UVA Category UNC
Category UVA Category UNC
Turnovers Lost 3 Turnovers Gained 46
Turnovers Gained 78 Turnovers Lost 85
Turnover Margin 26 Turnover Margin 72
Penalties per Game 39 Penalties per Game 90
Penalty Yards per Game 50 Penalty Yards per Game 112

All these stats are would suggest a huge UVA win in Chapel Hill, but that is why they play the games.