Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Not only did the Tar Heels snap a 20-game out-of-state losing streak, but UNC also made Rutgers look bad in the process. There were all kinds of firsts for North Carolina under Butch Davis in Thursday night's nationally televised game, but it wasn't the first time the team couldn't have done it without Brandon Tate.
Odds are it won't be the last.
UNC proved in the second half it's a better team than what it showed in the season opener against McNeese State.
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming ... "Peter's Story" ...
Todd Lalich, the father of UVA quarterback Peter Lalich, called Jerry Ratcliffe of the Charlottesville Daily Progress and gave a public vote of support for UVA coach Al Groh. Said Todd Lalich:
"I would tell any parents out there that has a football recruit that Virginia is interested in, that if they want their boy to turn into a man, they should send them to Al Groh," Todd Lalich said. "Fans might not like [Groh's] X's and O's, or the way he deals with the media sometimes, but I am incredibly impressed with the way Al handles his players."
Lalich also told Ratcliffe that the decision to leave Lalich behind for the UConn game came from "on high," not from Groh. In this story, though, it sounds like Groh made the call. Regardless of who made it, Ratcliffe disagrees with this decision, and said "this just isn't right."
There is more to this story (there always is). It's important to remember that urine tests reportedly support Lalich's statement that he did not use drugs or alcohol while on probation. (It's also possible that he was dehydrated on the day he was scheduled to take the test and couldn't, um, produce the sample).
UVA's starting quarterback -- its team leader -- was on probation. Yes, it was for something some of us may be all-too familiar with -- underage possession or purchase of alcohol (not that I'm condoning it, just saying welcome to college) and athletes have played football while accused of far worse. They've also been suspended for far less.
If you ask me, this whole disaster couldn't have worked out any better for Virginia. The coach gets a pat on the back, the administration looks like it won't tolerate wayward behavior, and the quarterback got to play against USC and beat Richmond.
And now, it's out of their hands because the court will likely decide whether or not Lalich plays against Duke.
For now, it's Marc Verica's turn. What do we know about UVA's new starter, other than he hasn't thrown a pass yet for UVA?
Moving on ...
Florida State will make public today its written response to the NCAA, the last communication between the two before FSU appears before the NCAA infractions committee on Oct. 18.
In addition to losing tight end Anthony Hill, who will miss the Clemson game with a muscle pull in his chest, NC State just lost backup Matt Kushner for the season with a knee injury. Is there a Fight Club after practices in Raleigh? Never mind, you do not talk about Fight Club.
Miami quarterback Robert Marve has some ties to his next opponent, whom he is excited to beat.
Did you go to the Miami/Florida game? If you did, did you stay outta the klink? There were 50 people arrested and 121 fans ejected from that game, the most arrests at a Florida football game in the past three years.
A former USC player will get his first career start on Saturday against Cal when he lines up at free safety for the Terps in place of an injured Terrell Skinner.
The Hokies woes on the offensive line are back. It all goes back to what went wrong last year -- pass protection.
Georgia Tech might be without its top wide receiver, who has an undisclosed injury.
Clemson might be without Ricky Sapp, but the "coaches continue to be coy" about it.