When North Carolina safety Matt Merletti got his first interception of the season late in Saturday's 28-17 victory against Virginia, he took the ball to the sideline and gave it to a manager for safe-keeping and an eventual trip to the Merletti bookcase.
But the game ball had been provided by Virginia and was quickly reclaimed by a sideline official and put back in play when the Cavaliers regained possession a few minutes later.
Then fate favored Merletti. He intercepted the same ball again - this time on the final possession for the Cavs - and took it to the house so to speak.
"I hope I didn't break a rule," he said this week. "I don't think so. It has a big 'V' printed on the side."
Smaller crowd: With its big alumni base in Atlanta's metro area, the Tar Heels' games at Georgia Tech used to sell out quickly and generate a festive weekend atmosphere in the city.
But with general admission tickets at $50 minimum, the economy dragging and the game on TV, Yellow Jackets athletic director Dan Radakovich said a turnout of 46,000 or less is likely.
Dodd Stadium has a seating capacity of 55,000.
Holland's Pittsburgh ties: Senior center Cam Holland may have been the happiest player on North Carolina's football team to hear last Sunday that Pittsburgh will leave the Big East for the ACC.
One of the top offensive linemen in the ACC, Holland is a Pittsburgh native and would have played for the Panthers had it gone down to his No. 2 choice in recruiting.
"I just hate I won't be here to play against those guys someday," Holland said.
It's possible the Panthers and Syracuse won't be released from the Big East until January of 2014. Both schools agreed to the league's policy of a 27-month wait and a $5 million exit fee.
"I think Pitt'll be a big plus for this conference," Holland said. "It's just a great football area."
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