Coming off a bye week, the Hokies were handed a blowout loss at home by Duke. Needing seven wins to reach bowl eligibility this season due to having two FCS teams on the schedule, it was hard to look at the eight games remaining on the schedule and find where those five remaining wins could come from. And then something happened. A Virginia Tech offense that could get nothing going against Duke the week beforehand somehow managed to put up 42 against Miami in a upset on the road.
At some point Friday night, the Wake Forest receiver will set up for the snap and sneak a peek across the line of scrimmage to locate a certain linebacker eager to make a big hit: his brother, North Carolina's Chazz Surratt.
It will be the first time the former touted instate recruits meet on opposite teams.
And that's added some sibling rivalry to an unusual nonconference game between Atlantic Coast Conference programs, not to mention an extra bit of stress for their mother at the likelihood the two will meet in a collision somewhere on the field.
I think it's going to give him a little more juice when I'm out there. It'll be fun, catching the ball or something and trying to make him miss. I like that idea.
But Mack Brown's return for a second stint as UNC's coach launched an offseason overhaul, which ultimately included Chazz moving to linebacker in the spring and changing the family dynamic running through Friday's meeting of teams.
Chazz, a redshirt junior, thrived in his first game at linebacker with 12 tackles, a sack, a pass breakup and a pressure in the season-opening win against South Carolina, followed by five tackles in last weekend's win against Miami.
Now he's part of a rotation charged with stopping an attack that features his brother, a redshirt sophomore who ranks as one of the ACC's leading receivers with 13 catches for yards and two scores. And yes, there has been a bit of trash talk between them.
I think the first time I see him out there, I'll probably smile just because he's going to be like 10 yards away from me in the boundary. But once we get into the game, I think both of our competitiveness will take over and we'll be just trying to win and play hard.
She said she had even told Chazz on a FaceTime call to "tone down the joy and excitement in your face about hitting your brother" after reading a recent article referencing his comments about tackling his younger brother.
She also knows that the loser of Friday's game won't hear the end of it anytime soon, either. But this, this is just bragging rights forever.
Whoever wins this game, we will never hear the end of this at home. Rather, they were teammates growing up, most notably when Chazz was the quarterback connecting with Sage as his top receiver at East Lincoln High School in Denver, roughly 30 miles north of Charlotte.
Both made The Associated Press all-state prep football team for North Carolina in , with Chazz named the state offensive player of the year.
A year later, Sage transferred to Lincolnton and swept the AP awards as state offensive player of the year in football and men's prep player of the year in basketball.
Brandi Surratt said roughly 30 family members and friends are planning to attend Friday night's game and split up their seats, some in the Wake Forest home section and others in the UNC visiting section.
The plan, she said, is for everyone to wear something representing both schools.
And considering the teams won't meet again until , this looks likely to be a one-time-only family get-together. All rights reserved About Us.
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