Tar Heels host Golden Gophers in ACC-Big Ten showdown

UNC running back Omarion Hampton runs the ball during the Tar Heel’s double-overtime win last week over Appalachian State. (Reinhold Matay / AP Photo)

A pair of 2-0 teams square off in Chapel Hill when the Tar Heels host the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten-ACC showdown. UNC beat South Carolina in Charlotte to open the season, then got past Appalachian State in the home opener last week. Minnesota won a low-scoring 13-10 game with Nebraska to start the year, then ran past Eastern Michigan in Week 2. This will be the first road game of the season for Minnesota, which has won four of its last five against ACC foes, including a win over Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl last season. This will be the first game Minnesota has ever played in the state of North Carolina.

The Game

Minnesota at UNC
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN


Minnesota: 2-0 (1-0 Big Ten)
North Carolina: 2-0 (0-0 ACC)


This is the first matchup between the two schools on the football field. The UNC men’s basketball team leads the all-time series 3-2.

Players to Watch

UNC running back Omarion Hampton: After opening the season as the backup to senior British Brooks, Hampton got the start last week due to an injury to Brooks. He rushed for a career-high 234 yards, the 13th-best rushing game in Tar Heels history, and scored three touchdowns. Brooks is expected back this week, but the two are now co-No. 1s on the depth chart, and Hampton will definitely get the ball — and the Minnesota defense’s attention — on Saturday.

Minnesota running back Darius Taylor: The three-star recruit won Big Ten Freshman of the Week Honors for his 193-yard rushing day against Eastern Michigan last weekend. After getting just one carry in the opener against Nebraska, Taylor carried the ball 33 times in Week 2, 25 in the second half, for the second-best rushing day by a freshman in Gophers history.


Bovada: UNC -7.5 points; Moneyline: UNC -310 moneyline, Minnesota +255; over/under 51