Photo courtesy of US Presswire

Photo courtesy of US Presswire

CHAPEL HILL—68 points. 16 years. These are two notorious statistics sticking in many Tar Heel minds this week. Let’s be honest, Carolina no doubt wishes these numbers weren’t flying around like popcorn at a movie theater on Friday night. Bu they are.

And who can blame Carolina for using these troubling digits as fodder for motivation? The ACC opener on the road against Georgia Tech could very well be a must-win for the Tar Heels, though Coach Fedora stops short of labeling it one.

And if UNC wants to emerge victorious on Saturday, the team will have to shrug off the dreaded 68 and 16.

68: Last year’s tally for Georgia Tech against the Tar Heels. The Yellow Jackets came to town and completely dismantled the Tar Heel defense in an effort that was so demoralizing that most of the Carolina fans could barely hold down their lunches. What was worse, quarterback Bryn Renner and company put up an impressive 50 points on the scoreboard, a number that should always be good enough to walk out a winner, but not on this regrettable day.

16: The years gone by since the Tar Heels last got out of Atlanta with a win over Georgia Tech. This one is hard to fathom, but true. The venue in downtown Atlanta is an underrated tough place to play. Renner said as much to the media on Monday. Couple that with the fact that Head Coach Paul Johnson’s squad is a tough out for any team given their tricky triple option attack, and you have somewhat of an explanation as to the disastrous slide on the road in this series.

Let’s not forget that the Tar Heels had an even more severe road losing streak versus the Virginia Cavaliers, deemed the “Charlottesville Curse,” before snapping that one in 2010.

Here’s hoping a determined, focused UNC squad puts a stop to this streak on Saturday and in doing so, stays atop the Coastal Division title chase.