TV Schedule: Thursday, October 29, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Line: UNC (-3)
Normally it’s the North Carolina basketball team that gets all the attention, but after a Week 1 loss to South Carolina, the Tar Heels have won six straight games and are 3-0 in the ACC. However, Carolina has yet to play a ranked team this season, so their inexperience could get the better of them.
Fourth-year head coach Larry Fedora has a 27-18 record with the Tar Heels and has led them to two bowl games. With Marquise Williams under center, expect Thursday night’s game to be a close one. Williams has passed for 1,353 yards this season and is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has been faring well under first-year coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers’ lone loss came in Week 3 against an undefeated Iowa team. It seems they’ve been using that loss as fuel since they jumped into the top 25 after their Week 6 win over Georgia Tech with RS junior Nate Peterman under center.
The graduate transfer from Tennessee has helped revitalize the Panthers’ offense by passing for 1,111 yards this season. Peterman knows how to handle pressure after his time at Tennessee and has been a great addition to Pittsburgh’s offense.
Despite Pittsburgh being the ranked team (No. 23), North Carolina might have the advantage Thursday night. Both teams are 6-1, but UNC is a three-point favorite and hasn’t lost since Week 1. Since that loss, UNC has only allowed one team to score above 14 in their 38-31 defeat of Delaware. Pittsburgh has been averaging 27.1.
Pittsburgh will be looking for revenge after last year’s 40-35 loss, but all the momentum seems to be swinging UNC’s way.
Prediction: North Carolina 42, Pittsburgh 38