Hokie football hopes to keep its November success alive facing the North Carolina Tar Heels tomorrow afternoon.
Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004, the Hokies are 21-2 in November, having won their last seven games. Tech will face a North Carolina team that has certainly had its ups and downs this season.
The Tar Heels, under much-maligned head coach Butch Davis, came into the season ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, uncharted territory for the basketball-heavy university. However, the Tar Heels, much like the Hokies, stumbled out of the gate to start the season, dropping their first two games to LSU and Georgia Tech.
“In North Carolina, I think you’re playing a team that’s very talented,” said Frank Beamer, Tech head coach. “They’re very hot — they’ve won six out of seven I believe.”
Davis looks to have righted the ship, as evidenced by a big come-from-behind win over Florida State last Saturday.
“T.J. (Yates) statistically had his biggest game,” Davis said about his senior quarterback. “He probably had one of the best games of his career.”
Yates, who finished with a staggering 439 yards and three touchdowns against the Seminoles, has often been criticized during his career in Chapel Hill. With highly recruited backup Bryn Renner waiting in the wings, many fans didn’t think Yates was capable of the kind of success he had Saturday.
“T.J. is a good friend of mine, and he’s playing at a high level right now,” said Tyrod Taylor, Tech quarterback. “He’s playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC; I’m glad to see what he’s doing.”
While both Taylor and Yates have found success in their senior seasons, Yates has a newfound weapon at wide receiver: Dwight Jones.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 210-pound Jones stands out on the football field. A 5-star recruit out of Burlington, N.C., Jones did not qualify academically out of high school, instead opting to play at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. He finally made it to UNC in 2008 and has had little impact until 2010.
This season, Jones has burst onto the scene. Over nine games, he has 40 receptions for 716 yards, good enough for third in the ACC. In last Saturday’s game against the Seminoles, the junior had eight catches for 233 yards and a touchdown.