UNC adds Charlotte as its 2020 football ‘plus one’

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
UNC and Charlotte will meet in football for the first time on Sept. 19 (File photo)

North Carolina and Charlotte were scheduled to meet in football for the first time with a home-and-home series in 2024-25.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tar Heels and 49ers won’t have to wait that long to play.

The schools announced Saturday that they have scheduled a game for Sept. 19 in Chapel Hill. The matchup will fill the opening for a “plus-one” as part of the Tar Heels’ adjusted “10-plus-1” ACC schedule.

The 49ers, meanwhile, will get the benefit of playing against a high-profile opponent in a familiar venue — a situation that will help raise their stature, especially among in-state recruits.

As part of the ACC’s COVID-19 contingency plan, UNC will play 10 conference games to go along with its “plus-one.” The rest of its schedule consists of  home games against Syracuse (Sept. 12), Virginia Tech (Oct. 10), NC State (Oct. 24), Wake Forest (Nov. 14) and Notre Dame (Nov. 27), along with road trips to Boston College (Oct. 3), Florida State (Oct. 17), Virginia (Oct. 31), Duke (Nov. 7) and Miami (Dec. 5). 

Notre Dame will play a full conference schedule and be eligible for the ACC championship this season.

Although Charlotte is a relative newcomer to the Football Bowl Subdivision, having only fielded a football team since 2013 and joining Conference USA two years later, it is hardly a pushover.

Led by second-year head coach Will Healy, the 49ers went 7-6 record with an appearance in the Bahamas Bowl last season. Mack Brown’s Tar Heels also went 7-6 in 2019, but begin the season ranked 19th in the preseason Coaches Poll.