clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UNC vs. William & Mary

Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, October 30, 3:30 PM
Records: UNC 4-3, 2-2 ACC; William & Mary 6-1

Remember when this was supposed to be Carolina's "easy" game?

UNC returns to Kenan Stadium for a homecoming matchup against the 6-1 Tribe of William & Mary, currently ranked #3 in the division formerly known as I-AA. After a season-opening loss, the Tribe has reeled off six straight wins, two of them over teams ranked in the FCS top-five.

Speaking of homecoming, a big storyline was to have been the return of former UNC quarterback Mike Paulus, a highly-touted prospect who never panned out for the Heels and transferred to William & Mary. However, Paulus has spent most of the season on the bench behind senior QB Mike Callahan. Callahan was injured and Paulus led W&M to two wins, including one over then-#1 Villanova, but Paulus was benched last week in the second half with the Tribe trailing Delaware 13-3. Callahan then rallied the team to a 17-16 victory and will be under center again this week.

William & Mary has staked a reputation as one of the top defensive teams in the FCS, particularly against the run. They held both Villanova and Delaware under 100 yards rushing in their wins.

For the Heels, some familiar faces return to the depleted defensive lineup. Kendric Burney was cleared by the NCAA to return this week and Quan Sturdivant and Jordan Nix have been upgraded to "probable". Da'Norris Searcy, who suffered a concussion against Miami, has also been cleared to return but is listed as questionable, as is cornerback Tre Boston.

Carolina also needs to get its offense in gear as T.J. Yates had a forgettable game last week against Miami and the running game never seemed to get going. This will be tough against a top-rated defense but Yates has not had back-to-back down games yet this season.

UNC doesn't exactly have a history in the 2000s of blowing out FCS teams, but they always seem to play some pretty good teams. The last time UNC played William & Mary in 2004, the Heels trailed much of the second half before pulling out a 49-38 win. There is no reason to expect Carolina to blow out the Tribe, but there is no reason the Heels should not win comfortably, either.

UNC 27, William & Mary 14