Of the 12 teams on North Carolina’s 2017 football schedule, the Tar Heels have met 10 of their opponents before. With the season rapidly approaching, let’s look at how the Tar Heels have matched up historically against their opponents.
When the Tar Heels and Golden Bears meet on September 2nd, it will be the first ever meeting between the two teams. The most recent game that was UNC’s first matchup against a team was Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Cal game probably can’t go worse than that.
This will be the first time UNC has played the Cardinals since they joined the ACC, but the two have played several times over the last 30 years. Louisville has a 4-3 edge, with the Tar Heels’ most recent win coming in 2011. Gio Bernard accounted for nearly half of North Carolina’s total yards in a 14-7 win.
@ Old Dominion
The Monarchs only just re-established their football team in 2009, but did have one back in the 30s and 40s. The two did not appear to meet in ODU’s first go around, but did play back in 2013. The Tar Heels scored 80 points and had over 700 total yards. A freshman Ryan Switzer had his fourth punt return touchdown of the season in this game.
Old Dominion was an FCS team then, but has since moved up and made a bowl last year. UNC probably won’t be dropping 80 on them again.
Last time the two teams met in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels scored 66 points and Marquise Williams threw for nearly 500 yards. As for last year, did the two teams play? It’s hard to remember.
@ Georgia Tech
The Tar Heels and Yellow Jackets have played some especially wild games over the last couple years. That included a 68-50 game in 2012, and UNC’s comeback from down 21 in 2015. All of the recent high-scoring games are probably just a way to make up for the 6-6 tie they played to in 1930.
vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame has a 17-2 lead in the all-time series between the two, but it’s .500 over the last two games. In the 2008 meeting in Chapel Hill, the Fighting Irish outgained UNC by 150 yards, but the Tar Heels still won by five. That may have something to do with the five Notre Dame turnovers. That’s more turnovers than Notre Dame wins in 2016.
UNC takes a seven-game winning streak against the Cavaliers into this year’s game. Before the streak started, the Tar Heels’ last win came in 2005. The final score of that game was 7-5, which is close to the funniest football score imaginable.
@ Virginia Tech
Last year’s game was terrible for UNC, but the first years of this series were possibly worse. The first game they played back in 1902 finished in a 0-0 tie. In the first 11 games the teams played, the Tar Heels scored a combined 12 points. Besides the 1902 game, that included two other scoreless ties in those 11 games. North Carolina’s lone win until 1929 was a 6-0 victory in 1904.
Thanks to wins in the last two years, UNC holds an 11-9 lead in this series. Coincidentally, the two did not play between 1963 and 2004.
The Tar Heels still have not lost to Pitt since the Panthers have joined the ACC. All four games have been decided by seven points or less. In two of those games, the winning score has came with under a minute remaining.
vs. Western Carolina
UNC and Western Carolina will meet for the first time in 2017. The Tar Heels should win the game, but if they somehow don’t, they will have lost their last meeting against all directional Carolinas.
@ NC State
Last year’s game was not good, so instead let’s talk about a fun portion of this rivalry. UNC’s longest winning streak in this game is nine from 1943-55. The Tar Heels held the Wolfpack to just 63 total points across those nine games. The most delightful of these games would probably have been the 41-6 game in 1947.
Historical series data courtesy of Sports Reference