After an 0-2 start and a cancellation due to Hurricane Florence, UNC finally returns to Chapel Hill to face Pittsburgh. The 2-1 Panthers are looking to play spoilers to UNC’s home opener. Can the Tar Heels emerge with a victory and finally get a win in 2018?
How to Watch/Listen
Kickoff: 12:20 p.m. ET
Before the game, 97.9 The Hill WCHL will be live from Southern Season at University Place with our pregame show. Inside Carolina kicks off the show at 9:00 a.m. and Countdown to Kickoff, presented by UNC Health Care, airs at 10:00 a.m.
If you’re waiting for a shuttle to the game, or just interested in stopping by to see the live broadcast, Southern Season will be selling pulled pork sliders, hamburgers and more from the Big Green Egg.
97.9 The Hill WCHL will be broadcasting every UNC football game this season. Find the broadcast on 97.9 FM, 1360 AM or streaming online at chapelboro.com. The Raycom Media broadcast of the game will be televised by WRAL.
Carolina enters at 0-2 after losing back-to-back games to California and East Carolina to begin the season. Last week’s game against UCF was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Meanwhile, Pitt enters at 2-1 with victories over Albany and Georgia Tech. The Panthers’ loss came at the hands of No. 13 Penn State.
While UNC has many questions heading into this game, the biggest appears to be at quarterback. Nathan Elliott, named the starter while Chazz Surratt serves his suspension, has completed 50 percent of his passes for one touchdown and four interceptions through two games. If Elliott cannot move the ball through the air in this game, don’t be surprised if true freshman Cade Fortin gets a look at quarterback. He is currently serving as the backup with Surratt suspended.
Expect UNC to lean heavily on the run game in this contest. Antonio Williams, who sat out the second half of last game due to a targeting call, and Jordon Brown have combined for 237 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns so far this season. While the passing game has been limited, Anthony Ratliff-Williams is averaging over 20 yards per reception this season and could provide a big play downfield.
As a whole, UNC’s offense needs to improve if the Tar Heels wish to get in the win column. Through the first two games, UNC’s ranks 116th in the nation in Offense S&P+ out of 130 FBS teams.
On defense, UNC needs to rebound after giving up 41 points to East Carolina.
Sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett has played well for Pitt so far. He struggled against Penn State (9/18, 55 yards, 1 INT), but has played well in the other two games. He is not a great quarterback, but is mobile enough to frustrate defenses.
While Pickett has played well, Pitt’s offense runs through 225-pound tailback Quadree Ollison and the senior has rushed for 283 yards (6.3 yards per carry) through three games. Look for the Panthers to give the ball to Ollison early and often to test Carolina’s defensive front.
Currently, Pittsburgh is sitting at a 3-point favorite over UNC in Chapel Hill. If the Tar Heels cannot pull out a win, bowl eligibility becomes a major question for UNC this season.
As always, visit Inside Carolina for a complete breakdown of UNC football and recruiting.
A full guide to game-day parking around Kenan Stadium (along with shuttles and bus routes) can be found here, but when it comes to parking in downtown Chapel Hill, you’ve got a few extra choices. Of course, you can always chance it on finding a street spot to parallel park into, but visiting Park on The Hill could help you find a spot that’s a sure bet. The site clearly maps out different parking lots and locations for the smoothest downtown parking experience possible. Keep in mind that parking procedures around Chapel Hill have changed in some areas, so be on the lookout for new meters.
Where to Watch
Kenan Stadium may have new 22-inch wide seats, complete with armrests, but if you’re not attending a Tar Heel football game in-person – or if you’d rather not deal with parking close to Kenan on game day – Franklin Street is the place to be.
Downtown Chapel Hill has plenty of places for fans looking for food, drinks and football action, whether you’re looking for a local legend, a storied sandwich or just as large a television as possible.
- Might as Well is a sports bar in Chapel Hill with a sister location in Wilmington, and offers something of a rarity in Chapel Hill: dedicated parking. There’s free parking available in the lot behind the bar on Rosemary Street, where you can store your wheels free of charge after 5 p.m. during the week and all through the weekend. The bar also plays games from NFL’s Sunday Ticket broadcast, so it isn’t just college ball you’ll find playing on the big screens!
- Linda’s is home to everything from loaded tater tots to salmon cakes, but it’s the legendary pulled pot roast sandwich — called “The Murph” — that’s fueled countless Franklin Street expeditions.
- Four Corners, named for the famous Tar Heel offensive strategy, is naturally a fit for basketball – but the bar is no slouch when it comes to football season, either! With well-placed TVs all across the establishment and a well-stocked bar with plenty of draft beer, Four Corners is a perfect place to post up. If you come hungry, blackened chicken Cajun alfredo is decidedly the way to go.
- If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, the Dead Mule Club – affectionately termed as “the best half-assed bar in Chapel Hill” – is the place to be. The Dead Mule is a local institution, hosting patrons since 1994 and serving over 70 varieties of whisky and 50 different beers. The little white house boasts a porch along with an indoor lounge, and offers a great location to not only watch the game, but also have a conversation and grab a bite from a small kitchen with some fantastic daily specials heavily focused on local food.
- Goodfellows isn’t just home to Picklebacks and “perfect pints,” but also plenty of seats with strategically positioned TVs above. The underground bar also allows patrons to bring in food, so you can take your to-go order or pre-game meal downstairs and get situated. Free popcorn, friendly bartenders and a raucous atmosphere all add up to a great place to be on game day.
- A relative newcomer to Franklin, Sup Dogs has expanded out from Greenville with its signature — and reasonably priced — offerings of ridiculously topped hot dogs and all the fried sides that accompany them. Conveniently placed in the middle of the main drag of Franklin Street, Sup Dogs can act either as a place to watch the entire game or a way station between bar-hopping destinations. As far as drinks go, the “Orange Sup Crush” comes particularly highly recommended — mostly because of the full orange that’s freshly squeezed into it!
- Of course, no list of potential places to watch Tar Heels sports would be complete without Top of the Hill. Views looking down on Franklin’s liveliest intersection and great food and drinks pair up for a high-class experience that takes the best Chapel Hill has to offer and puts it on a rooftop. Reservations aren’t accepted on game days, however, so you’ll have to show up appropriately early to secure a spot.