UNC vs Pittsburgh: Preview, broadcast information and prediction

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Nathan Elliott
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Nathan Elliott /

With just three games remaining, Tar Heels try to salvage something in midst of lost season

The North Carolina Tar Heels will suit up on Thursday night against ACC Coastal Division rival Pittsburgh, in what many consider a game that nearly no one cares about.

The Tar Heels are in the midst of one of their worst seasons in program history, recording just one victory in the first nine games of the season. That victory came against Old Dominion, who currently sits in sixth-place of the Conference USA standings with a 3-6 record.

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Pittsburgh isn’t setting the world on fire either, though it does have victories in consecutive weeks for the first time this season. Three of the Panthers’ four wins, games against Youngstown State, Rice and Duke, are fairly unimpressive. They did, however, come away with a nice win against Virginia last week.

North Carolina had a nice showing against the undefeated Miami Hurricanes in Week 10, though it didn’t result in a win. Other than that, the Tar Heels’ past two months of football has been pretty lethargic.

There are a number of reasons for that, but none more obvious than the team’s 18 season-ending injuries and countless others which have caused intermittent absences and inconsistencies throughout the season.

Quarterback play has also been a problem for the Tar Heels this season, with sophomore starter Chazz Surratt injured and back-up quarterback Brandon Harris unavailable to play. Head coach Larry Fedora stated that he won’t name Thursday night’s starting quarterback ahead of time, and is taking a “week-to-week” approach with the remaining signal callers on the roster.

Obviously, the Tar Heels have very little to play for at this point. The Panthers, on the other hand, can make a bowl game if they finish the season strong by winning two of their final three games.

North Carolina has a four-game winning streak against Pittsburgh dating back to 2013, and will look to make it five straight at Heinz Field on Thursday night.

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What you need to know

WHAT? UNC 1-8 (0-6 ACC) @ Pittsburgh 4-5 (2-3 ACC)
WHEN? Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET
WHERE? Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV? WTVZ/Watchstadium.com/GoHeelstv.com
RADIO? Tar Heel Sports Network
WEATHER?  Partly cloudy skies. High 52F.
LINE? Pittsburgh -9.5
ALL-TIME SERIES? UNC leads all-time series 8-3.
PREDICTION? Pittsburgh 28, UNC 16