As the Tar Heels prepare for their second season under the leadership of head coach Larry Fedora they will look to capture their first official ACC Coastal Division title and appear in their first ACC Title game.
August 31st at South Carolina: The renewal of this border rivalry will likely be overshadowed by another ACC/SEC showdown happening down the road in Clemson, however the importance of this game to the two fan bases cannot be underestimated while determining who is “The Real Carolina”. This will be the 56th meeting between the two schools and their first since 2007, a 21-15 win for the Gamecocks in Chapel Hill. It could be argued that the two programs have gone in opposite directions since that game. So much so that if the Tar Heels win this game it will likely be considered a major upset as the Gamecocks are one of the favorites in the SEC East and a potential national title contender.
September 21st at Georgia Tech: This will be the ACC conference opener for both schools who are expected to contend for the Coastal division title. Plenty of offensive fireworks should be expected as last year’s matchup resulted in a 68-50 win for the Yellow Jackets, the highest scoring game in ACC history. The game also featured over 1,000 yards in offense and 16 touchdowns.
October 17th vs. Miami: This Thursday night game will be the Tar Heels second nationally televised of the season and could determine the Coastal Division champion. Last year both teams were ineligible for the title despite finishing tied for the division title. This game will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the ACC in Bryn Renner and Miami’s Stephen Morris.
November 2nd at N.C. State: There is not much about this matchup that has not already been said. It had been a long 5 years for Tar Heel fans, constantly having to hear State fans brag about their winning streak, but that all changed with one of the greatest plays in the history of Carolina football. No one will ever forget Gio Bernard’s 73 yard punt return for a touchdown to snap the 5 game losing streak. The rivalry shifts to Raleigh this season, a place the Heels have not won at since 2005. The Wolfpack will have a new coach this season, Dave Doeren who will try to regain control of the series.
November 30th vs. Duke: In years past this is a game that would not be considered that important; however, that changed after the result of last season’s matchup. The Blue Devils beat the Heels 33-30 on a last minute touchdown drive that allowed the Devils to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. Making matters worse is the fact that Duke did not win another game for the rest of the season after that game. It was their first win in the series since 2003 and only their 5th in the last 25 games. It was the low point of what was otherwise a good first season under Coach Fedora given the circumstances. This game along with the N.C. State game is pivtoal to the Tar Heels establishing themselves as the top program in the state.