Pitt Panthers Vs. UNC Tar Heels Preview And Prediction


The University of Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1, 3-0 in ACC) faces one of the teams Thursday that is also undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Blue and Gold welcome the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1, 3-0 in ACC) to the Steel City.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi has the Blue and Gold off to one of their best starts in the last six seasons as they are ranked No. 23 by the Associated Press and No. 24 in the Amway Coaches poll this week.

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If Pitt can get Qadree Ollison, Chris James, or Darrin Hall rolling, it could be the difference in the match-up as the UNC defense is allowing over 200 yards per game on the ground. Last week, the Panthers rushed for 188 yards while Syracuse managed to put up 136 yards on the ground. It led to Pitt winning the time of possession by a 37-23 margin.

Tyler Boyd is more than a vital part of Pitt’s passing attack. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior remains a threat running the ball and as a returner. The Clairton, Pennsylvania native has 4,485 career all-purpose yards to rank third all-time at Pitt.

North Carolina, under head coach Larry Fedora, is enjoying a six-game winning streak this season. They claimed a 26-13 victory at home last week against the University of Virginia Cavaliers. Fedora is in his fourth season on the sidelines at UNC, and he has guided the Tar Heels to 21 victories in his first three seasons.

The Panthers passing attack faces a new challenge this week as the Tar Heels have surrendered just 137.3 passing yards per match-up and 16.7 points per game.

Meanwhile the Carolina offense is 16th in the country in scoring and has converted 48 percent of its third down opportunities. They have punted the ball just 18 times in seven contests.

One note of interest is this match-up is just the third home game of the season for Pitt while it is just the second road game for UNC. The Tar Heels play nine of their 12 games inside North Carolina.

Here is your Game Day breakdown:

When: Thursday, Oct. 29

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET

Site: Heinz Field

Playing Surface: Natural Grass

Pitt Ticket Information: pittsburghpanthers.com

Series Began: 1974

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Series Overall: UNC leads 6-3

At Pittsburgh: Series tied 2-2

At UNC: Tar Heels lead 4-0

Neutral Sites: Pitt leads 1-0 (2009 Meineke Bowl in Charlotte, NC: Pitt 19 – UNC 17)

Last Meeting At Pitt: Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 (UNC won 34-27)

Last Meeting At UNC: Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 (UNC won 40-35)

Current Series Win Streak: UNC has won the last two match-ups in 2013 and 2014.

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Adam Amin and Kelly Stouffer with Marty Smith on the sideline

Live Video Stream: WatchESPN

Radio Coverage: 93.7 FM – The Fan and the Pitt IMG Sports Network

Announcers: Bill Hillgrove and Pat Bostick with Larry Richert reporting from the sidelines

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A fitting finale for the College Football Playoffs. What did they do?
A fitting finale for the College Football Playoffs. What did they do? /

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  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 81, XM Channel 81

    Pitt Gameday LIVE Mobile App: Download for iOS / Download for Android

    Live Stats: Game Tracker

    Local Television Replay: ROOT Sports Pittsburgh on Monday, Nov. 2 at 6:00 p.m.

    Pitt Social Media – Twitter: @GoPittFootball / @PittAthletics

    Odds: Pitt +3 According to the Odds Shark Online Sportsbook with the Over/Under at 55.5. The Blue and Gold is 4-2 against the spread in its last six match-ups.

    Weather Channel Online: Windy with increasing clouds and an overnight low of 41. Chance of rain is 20 percent. Winds will be out of the west to southwest at 20 to 30 mph.

    My Prediction: Pitt goes to 5-0 in the ACC and remains in first place in the Coastal Division with a 28-24 victory over the Tar Heels.

    Up Next: Pitt stays home at Heinz Field Saturday, Nov. 7 when they take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The contest will kick-off at 12 noon ET. It will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

    Next: Pirates Free Agency: Buccos Should Sign Davis and Samardzija

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