Monday, October 26, 2015

UNC To Take on Pitt Thursday Night

Just five days after a tough 26-13 victory over Virginia, North Carolina travels to No. 23 Pittsburgh for an important Coastal Division matchup. The Tar Heels have won six in a row and are 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league play for the first time since 1997.

Pitt is also 6-1 with the only loss coming at nationally ranked Iowa. Pittsburgh is the first ranked opponent the Tar Heels have faced since last year’s Thursday night game at No. 25 Duke.

Last week, Carolina limited the Cavaliers to 127 yards (72 rushing, 55 passing) in the second half and shut out Virginia in the last two quarters. The Tar Heels forced five turnovers, intercepting four passes for the first time since 2013. Tailback Elijah Hood rushed for 101 yards and a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs.

Pitt won its fourth consecutive game by kicking a 25-yard field goal as time expired to win at Syracuse. The Panthers ate up the last 9:20 of the game on a 19-play drive before booting the gamewinner.

The Pitt game is just the second road game for the Tar Heels, who play nine of 12 games this season inside the state of North Carolina. Following the Pitt game, Carolina returns to Chapel Hill for a pair of home games against Duke and Miami.

  • Carolina is the only school in the country that has not allowed a punt return this season.
  • Carolina has allowed just 45 points in the second half in seven games – 6.4 points per game. (South Carolina – 7 points; North Carolina A&T – 14; Illinois – 7; Delaware – 7; Georgia Tech – 10; Wake Forest – 0; Virginia – 0)
  • Senior wide receiver Quinshad Davis has 180 career receptions and is just two shy of passing Hakeem Nicks (181) to become the school’s all-time leader. He is already UNC’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 22.
  • Marquise Williams needs just 14 yards to become only the fifth quarterback in ACC history with 2,000 career rushing yards. Williams ranks 14th in UNC history with 1,986 yards.
  • Williams has been responsible for 76 career touchdowns, which is three shy of the school record of 79 held by Darian Durant (2001-04) and ranks 10th in ACC history. Williams has rushed for 27 scores (UNC record for QB), passed for 46 and has three receiving TDs.
  • For the second straight week, North Carolina is the only unranked Power 5 conference team in the country with just one loss.
  • Five current Tar Heels have made 30-or-more career starts. Quinshad Davis leads the way with 40, followed by OG Landon Turner (35), OT Jon Heck (31), LB Jeff Schoettmer (31) and OG Caleb Peterson (30).
  • North Carolina is 10 for 10 in non-quarterback passes under Larry Fedora. WR Quinshad Davis has completed all four pass attempts of his career for touchdowns. He is 4 of 4 for 121 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 684.1. WR Ryan Switzer has completed all three of his attempts for two touchdowns.
  • Carolina ranks second in the country in passing yards allowed, 10th in pass efficiency defense and 16th in scoring defense. UNC is allowing just 137.3 passing yards per game and 16.7 points per game.
  • Carolina is 16th in the nation in scoring offense and is one of just 10 teams in the country averaging more than 200 yards per game rushing (215.3) and 250 passing (258.3).
  • Carolina has converted 48 percent of its third down opportunities this season, which ranks 12th nationally.
  • Carolina has punted just 18 times this year. Only Baylor (17) and Navy (17) have fewer punts.