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Steve Helber, Associated Press
Virginia running back Kevin Parks (25) is upended during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisiana Tech in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Kevin Parks flashes a sly smile like he hopes it will answer the question on its own.

The Virginia tailback and North Carolina native is going home with a bit of an attitude this weekend when the struggling Cavaliers (2-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) face surprising Duke (4-1, 1-0).

The 5-foot-8 Parks played in high school less than two hours from the Research Triangle. He says coaches in his home state told him he was too small to play major college football.

Now, he says on the schedule he circles the game in North Carolina, which brings extra motivation for him.

The Cavaliers have lost three straight and are likely to change quarterbacks, with Phillip Sims taking over as the starter. Sims has thrown five touchdown passes and no interceptions.