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UNC football hits a new low on offense this season

Things didn’t go very well for UNC football at Virginia Tech this weekend. The Hokies dominated, and won easily: 59-7. This was always supposed to be a rebuild year in Chapel Hill; injuries have also ravished an already thin team. However, Saturday’s performance is one Larry Fedora’s offense would like to quickly forget.

 

One of for the record books, unfortunately

Over the last two seasons of ACC football, there have been only six times when an offense recorded fewer than 200 total yards, seven or fewer points and 12 or fewer first downs. Saturday in Blacksburg was one of those times, per Sports Reference. That’s the first time it’s happened in the ACC in 2017, and just 60th time since the 2000 season.

If you expand out for the entire FBS, its just the 23rd time it has happened in the 2017 season.

This type of performance last occurred to UNC football in the 2016 season; ironically, Virginia Tech was the opponent then, too. Of course, that game was played amid a literal hurricane — Hurricane Matthew. Weather conditions are no excuse for a North Carolina team that’s seen its season unravel.

Tom Sheldon punted the ball 10 times in Lane Stadium; that’s tied for the most in a single ACC game this season.

 

On the ground

Running the ball has been an occasional bright spot for the Heels this season (No. 49 in Rushing S&P-plus); young backs Michael Carter and Jordon Brown have had nice moments. Things, however, didn’t go so hot against the Hokies run defense.

In total, UNC recorded 54 rush yards on 42 carries. So, not great, right? According to Sports Reference, this was just the fourth time all season in the FBS that a team has run for fewer than 60 yards on 40 or more carries.

This is the result of some accounting, though. UNC quarterbacks Chazz Surratt and Nathan Elliott were chased mercilessly, and sack yardage is factored in here, too. Virginia Tech’s top six defensive linemen combined for five sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, per Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times.

Surratt — before leaving with an injury — and Elliott combined for minus-37 yards on the ground. They were also a combined 4-of-11 for 94 yards through the air.

 

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