UNC, Pitt kick off ACC play in Steel City

UNC coach Mack Brown stands on the sidelines during the Tar Heels' 38-21 loss to South Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30 in Charlotte. (PJ Ward-Brown / North State Journal)

No. 17 UNC plays its first road game of the season, heading to Pitt to kick off its ACC schedule. The Tar Heels knocked off South Carolina in Charlotte in the opener, then squeaked past App State in double overtime before dispatching Minnesota last week. After a blowout of Wofford in the opener, the Panthers have dropped a home game to Cincinnati and the Backyard Brawl at West Virginia the last two weeks. Twelve of the last 16 games in the series have been decided by fewer than 10 points, and the average margin of victory in the last 11 games is 5.7 points.

The Game

UNC at Pitt
Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh
Saturday, 8 p.m., ACCN


UNC: 3-0 (0-0 ACC)
Pitt: 1-2 (0-0 ACC)


UNC leads the all-time series 11-5, but the teams have split the eight games at Pitt. Carolina won last year, snapping a two-game Pitt winning streak in the series.

Players to Watch

UNC wide receiver Nate McCollum: McCollum made his first start as a Tar Heel last week and missed setting the school’s single-game catch record by one reception. McCollum grabbed 15 Drake Maye passes for 165 yards, including catching Maye’s longest scoring pass of the season — a 46-yarder. The Georgia Tech transfer won ACC receiver of the week for his efforts.

Pitt safety Donovan McMillon: McMillon also made the most of his first start. He was in the starting lineup for the first time in his college career last week at West Virginia and had the best tackling day by an ACC player so far this season. His 18 stops were the most by a Panther since 2015 and are the second-best tackle total in the nation so far this season. The Florida transfer leads the team in tackles.


Bovada: UNC -7.5 points; moneyline UNC -285  Pitt +235; over/under 50.5