Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Heels Looking to Bounce Back on the Road

Carolina goes back on the road Saturday when the Tar Heels visit Syracuse at the Carrier Dome at 12:20 p.m. The meeting will be the first between the two programs since the Orange joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. UNC is 1-4 on the year and 1-2 in the league following a 22-19 home loss to Virginia Tech last Saturday night. Led by a career-high 165 rushing yards by sophomore Michael Carter, the Tar Heels led for almost the entire second half before the Hokies scored the winning touchdown with 19 seconds remaining.

Syracuse is 4-2 and 1-2 in conference play following a 44-37 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Oct. 6. The Orange, which had its open date last weekend, is led by dynamic dual-threat quarterback Eric Dungey. Dungey leads the team in both rushing (435 yards, seven touchdowns) and passing (1,208 yards, 10 TDs). Saturday's game will be broadcast on Raycom Sports and locally on WRAL.

Carolina and Syracuse are meeting for just the fifth time in series history and the first time since the Orange joined the ACC. Each of the four previous meetings has been won by the road team. UNC was triumphant at the Carrier Dome in 1996 and 2002, while Syracuse won at Kenan Stadium in 1995 and 2003. The last meeting in the series was a shootout, with the Orange prevailing 49-47 after three overtimes in Chapel Hill in 2003. Darian Durant accounted for five touchdowns on the day, but Kelvin Smith stopped Jacques Lewis on a two-point try to win it for Cuse. The contest still stands as the only three-overtime game in UNC history.

The last meeting in the Carrier Dome came in 2002, a 30-22 Carolina victory. Durant threw a pair of fourth-quarter TDs and place-kicker Dan Orner tied an NCAA record with three field goals of at least 50 yards, including a school-record 55-yarder. Syracuse defeated the Tar Heels 20-9 in the 1995 season opener at Kenan Stadium. Carolina returned the favor with a 27-10 victory at the Carrier Dome the following season. The 1996 victory over No. 9 Syracuse was Carolina's first road victory over a top-10 opponent since 1966.