Tailback Wali Lundy has been one of Virginia’s biggest offensive threats the last two seasons. Judging from his performance in last week’s opener, that won’t change this year.
Lundy looks to turn in another strong performance as the No. 15 Cavaliers host ACC rival North Carolina on Saturday.
Lundy ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns in Virginia’s 44-14 win at Temple last weekend. The junior, who has eight career 100-yard games, gained only five yards on his first five carries. However, he eventually settled down in front of a crowd that included dozens of friends and family from his nearby hometown of Willingboro, N.J.
“Before the game I might have been thinking about it a little too much,” he said. “I was a little hyper coming back to play where I grew up.”
Lundy has led the team in rushing the last two years. He ran for a season-high 929 yards and led the ACC with 14 total touchdowns last season, and piled up 826 yards his freshman year, scoring 10 total touchdowns.
Lundy has also caught 87 passes for 688 yards in his career.
“Everything he does, he does right,” Virginia coach Al Groh said.
Virginia, which has not been ranked this high since 1998, gained 504 yards last week, while the defense recovered two fumbles and had five sacks against a woeful Temple squad. The Cavaliers allowed more than 20 points and 380 yards per game last season.
“We wanted to make the quarterback never feel comfortable in the pocket,” Groh said. “It looked like their quarterback had difficulty getting into a rhythm.”
North Carolina needed a fourth-quarter rally to beat Division I-AA William & Mary 49-38 in its opener Saturday. Ronnie McGill picked up 100 of his 133 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the final quarter.
“We had plans of coming into the game and running it,” McGill said. “But, in the first half we came out and were passing a lot. When we went into the locker room at halftime and coach said we were going to pound it in the second half, so that’s what we did.”
Jacque Lewis rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown, giving North Carolina two 100-yard rushers for the first time in 10 years.
“Our goal is to produce a 1,000-yard back this year and at this rate we’re going for two,” offensive lineman Jason Brown said.
Darian Durant threw for two touchdowns for the Tar Heels, who had 575 yards of offense, including 341 on the ground.
North Carolina and Virginia will be meeting for the 109th time in a series that is tied for the fifth-longest Division I-A history. The Cavaliers have won 13 of the last 17 matchups.