After the win over Virginia, UNC enters the bye week in a pretty decent position. The Tar Heels are 6-2 and have four games ahead of them, in all of which they will likely be favorites.
First up following the bye week is Georgia Tech. Considering the style the Yellow Jackets play, having an extra week to prepare couldn’t hurt. However, results in games following bye weeks have been a mixed bag in the Larry Fedora era.
In Fedora’s first season in Chapel Hill in 2012, the bye week came very late in the season. After the Gio Bernard punt return win over NC State, the Tar Heels got the week of November 3rd off.
Like this season, their opponent following the bye was Georgia Tech, and that didn’t go great. UNC allowed 588 yards and 68 points to the Yellow Jackets. The offense did its part, scoring 50 in a game that set the record for most points in an ACC game.
In 2013, the Tar Heels’ bye week came after just two games. UNC split their opening games against South Carolina and Middle Tennessee before getting week three off. Once again, their opponent on the other side was Georgia Tech.
That one also ended in a loss. The defense allowed over 300 rushing yards to Tech for the second straight year. However, they only allowed 28 points the second time around. The offense scored on three of their first four possessions, but did not score in the second half. A four quarter interception thrown by Bryn Renner cut short an eight-play drive that got Carolina into Tech territory for a potential game-tying score. That was as close as UNC would get, as they lost 28-20.
The bye also came after two weeks in the 2014 season. Carolina started 2-0 before heading to Greenville to take on East Carolina. You may remember that game.
Carolina allowed 70 points to ECU. For the third straight year, UNC allowed over 300 yards on the ground following a bye week. An additional problem was the 446 passing yards they also gave up. Mitch Trubisky played in this game, throwing for 103 yards on 16 attempts, the majority of which came in garbage time.
The 2015 season was the only one that saw Carolina win following a bye week. This time, UNC got the bye week following a Georgia Tech game. After a huge comeback win in Atlanta, North Carolina hosted Wake Forest.
This time, it was the Tar Heels putting up big points. Carolina scored 29 second quarter points, beating the Demon Deacons 50-14. The game moved UNC to 2-0 in the ACC. It was perhaps most notable for a certain message Ryan Switzer wrote on a whiteboard.
In the games following bye weeks in the Fedora era, UNC is 1-3. In all three losses, the defense performed pretty poorly. An extra week hasn’t helped North Carolina against Georgia Tech in recent years. A win over the Yellow Jackets this year may not be a super impressive win résumé wise. However, it would be a nice way to show how far the program has come since the 68-50 loss.