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November 9, 2017

UNC Has Been A Problem For Pitt

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 8:42 am

3-8.

That’s Pitt’s historical record against UNC.

0-4.

That’s Pitt’s record against UNC since joining the ACC.

And all the games against UNC in the ACC have been within 7 points. Chris Peak details some of the gore.

The Tar Heels have been trying to rely on their defense as their offense has been worse then Pitt’s. Still Larry Fedora is a very good offensive coach and has had extra time to work with the offense leading up to this game.

And they are a desperate team. Not simply 1-8.  They haven’t beaten a major conference program in over a year.

One thing Fedora did not do is think about his team’s long, troubling losing streak against major-conference opponents. Since UNC defeated Georgia Tech on Nov. 5, 2016, it has lost 11 consecutive games against teams from a power conference.

“Haven’t thought about it until you brought it up,” Fedora said. “So, thanks. Yeah (there’s) nothing good about it, but it is what it is. Nothing’s going to change. We’re going to continue to do the things that we’re doing that we need to do to get better as a football team and hopefully win some football games.”

The Tar Heels’ 11-game losing streak against major-conference teams includes two defeats against Duke, two defeats against Pac-12 Conference opponents (Stanford and California) and seven other defeats against ACC opponents. And now, with a game on Thursday night at Pittsburgh, comes an opportunity for UNC to end its misery.

When the Tar Heels last defeated a major-conference team, they were 7-2 overall, and 5-1 in the ACC. They were competing, still, for a second consecutive Coastal Division championship. They had positioned themselves to appear in an upper-tier bowl game.

Since then, they’ve played nearly a season’s worth of games against major-conference competition, and they’re 0-11 in those games. A defeat on Thursday night at Pitt, and later this month at N.C. State, would ensure UNC’s losing streak in such games stretches into 2018.

Yeah, no pressure.

The injuries have been far worse for UNC then anything Pitt has had this season. And their struggle to find a reliable starting QB has been surprising with Fedora.

In 2017, none of North Carolina’s signal-calling triumvirate has put up anything close to those numbers. Like Narduzzi with Max Browne, Fedora went the graduate-transfer route, snagging Harris from LSU, but he has been ineffective and injured from the start. Surratt, who was initially slated to be a preferred walk-on to the basketball team as well, is a dual-threat redshirt freshman with a team-leading 1,284 yards and seven touchdowns to three interceptions. But after starting every game but one since the opener, Surratt got hurt last time out against Miami, so Elliott came in and nearly led an upset comeback win.

“I would say so,” Hamlin admitted. “I like to get out there early and start the game off. I like to get in a rhythm early.”

Against a team that has thrown 14 interceptions, worst in the ACC and tied for the second most among power-five schools, Hamlin could help set the tone for the defense from the jump. And in addition to losing Trubisky, North Carolina graduated all of his weapons too, while leading returning receiver Austin Proehl is out for the year with a shoulder injury.

That all shows in the numbers, be it statistics or the Tar Heels record, so the Panthers certainly don’t want to be the foe that allows their offense — and whoever’s running it — to cure what ails them.

This has all the making of being a very strange game.

 





7 comments

“I like playing under the lights, so it’ll be a cool experience for me getting to play at Heinz Field at night.” – Ben DiNucci (Post Gazette)

The stage is set for the OFFICIAL “Coming Out Party” for Pitt’s new STARTING Quarterback!

Will Ben DiNucci RISE UP to the MOMENT?

Of course.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.09.17 @ 9:40 am

My boss is a UNC fan and every year I think, OK, we will get killed in Bball but at least we can beat them in Fball…and yeah, 0-4 in the time…ugh!

Comment by DD 11.09.17 @ 9:42 am

No more Ryan Switzer, Panther Killer

When has Pitt worried about playing a 1-8 team?

Hopefully we pick up where we left off last game.

Comment by gc 11.09.17 @ 10:57 am

Pitt 28 UNC 14

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 11.09.17 @ 1:39 pm

all the UNC players that gave us last minute nightmares … Trubisky, Howard, Switzer, Hood, etc … have left. I’m not going to let a streak of 4 sway me, and see Pitt winning in a low scoring game.

Comment by wbb 11.09.17 @ 1:39 pm

Potential for disaster. Pitt needs to win and is favored and plays before a national audience.

Comment by fred filopek 11.09.17 @ 6:19 pm

Hamlin is getting killed

Comment by Steve h 11.09.17 @ 7:54 pm

[never shared]

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