North Carolina-Pittsburgh Preview Capsule
North Carolina (6-1, 3-0 ACC) at No. 23 Pittsburgh (6-1, 4-0), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: North Carolina by 2 1/2.
Series Record: North Carolina leads 6-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: A leg up in the crowded ACC Coastal Division. The Panthers, Tar Heels and Duke are all undefeated heading into the final days of October and will play each other over the next three weeks. Whoever loses tonight will face an uphill battle to win the division and earn a spot in the conference title game.
North Carolina’s secondary vs. Pitt WR Tyler Boyd. The dynamic and versatile Boyd is the school’s all-time leading receiver and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney keeps finding interesting ways to get Boyd involved. He ran six times last week in a win over Syracuse and even completed his first pass, a 38-yard gain.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
North Carolina: QB Marquise Williams. The senior has become increasingly accurate throughout his career and is now one of the better dual threats in the country. He’s completing 66 percent of his passes, which is making him even more dangerous with his legs. Williams is averaging 7.0 yards per carry and ran for 71 yards in last week’s win over Virginia.
Pittsburgh: LB Matt Galambos. The junior has become a playmaking catalyst for the Panthers’ rejuvenated defense. Galambos leads the team in sacks (four) and he can catch the ball, too. His two interceptions are tied for the team lead and he hauled in a 12-yard reception on a fake punt against Syracuse that led to the winning field goal.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Tar Heels have won six straight since a season-opening loss to South Carolina, the program’s longest winning streak since 1997. … The Panthers have won four consecutive games, their only loss came to unbeaten Iowa on a field goal at the end of the game. … Pitt is second in the ACC and 12th in the country in sacks per game (3.14) and its 22 sacks are already four more than the team managed in 2014. … North Carolina is one of just 10 teams in the country to average more than 200 yards rushing and 250 yards passing. … The Tar Heels are allowing only 16.7 points per game a season after giving up 39 points per contest. … The Panthers are 5-1 in games decided by single digits. … North Carolina has not allowed a punt return all season.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org