Carolina Returns Home To Host ECU Saturday
This is the fifth consecutive season that the Tar Heels have played East Carolina, which is in its last season as a member of Conference USA. Carolina has won the previous four matchups, including last year's 27-6 contest in Chapel Hill.
Carolina is coming off a disappointing 28-20 loss at Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels held a 20-7 lead in the second quarter, but the Yellow Jackets rallied to win the Coastal Division battle by dominating time of possession and holding the Tar Heels to just 62 total yards of offense in the second half. East Carolina had a bye last weekend. In their most recent contest two weeks ago, the Pirates fell to Virginia Tech, 15-10, in Greenville.
After Saturday's non-conference game, the Tar Heels play six consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
AT A GLANCE
Records: North Carolina 1-2 (0-1 ACC), East Carolina 2-1 (1-0 C-USA)
Rankings: Both teams are unranked.
TV: ACC Network (click for affiliates). Steve Martin (play-by-play), Dave Archer (analyst) and Rachel Baribeau (sideline) have the call.
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network, a division of Learfield Communications. Jones Angell (play-by-play), Ethan Albright (analyst) and Lee Pace (sideline) have the call. A link to the live stream can be found at GoHeels.com.
On The Web: GoHeels.com • Twitter: @TarHeelFootball, @CoachFedora
EAST CAROLINA NOTES
• Separated by approximately 100 miles, North Carolina and East Carolina will meet for the 16th time Saturday. Carolina leads the series 12-2-1, which includes the 2009 win that was vacated.
• North Carolina won last year's game in Chapel Hill, 27-6. The Tar Heels led 10-6 at halftime then broke the game open with two quick third quarter touchdowns. Carolina's defense limited the Pirates to just 233 total yards. ECU's six points were its fewest in the series since a 56-0 loss in 1981.
• Carolina has scored 30 or more points in four of the last five games with the Pirates.
• Carolina's only losses in the series are a 34-31 decision in Greenville in 2007 and a 38-17 loss in Chapel Hill in 1975.
• Carolina and ECU met eight times in 10 years from 1972-1981, but went 20 years before meeting again in 2001. Since 2000, the two schools have faced each other seven times - 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
• ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill was a defensive back for the Pirates from 1976-80 and faced the Tar Heels three times.
• UNC head coach Larry Fedora is 3-2 overall against ECU. As head coach at Southern Miss, Fedora posted a 2-2 mark against the Pirates with wins in 2011 (48-28) and 2008 (21-3). Fedora faced ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill twice during that time with Fedora winning in 2011 and McNeill pulling out a 44-43 victory in 2010.
• In his first stint at UNC (2000-04), WR coach Gunter Brewer helped coach the Tar Heels to wins over ECU in 2001 (24-21) and 2003 (28-17).
• East Carolina strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors spent 10 seasons in a similar role at UNC from 2001-10. He returned to ECU, where he worked from 1990-2000, following the 2010 season. ECU's Director of Operations/Player Personnel Brian Overton worked three seasons at UNC from 2009-11 as an operations assistant.
• Kelvin Bryant's six rushing touchdowns in a 56-0 victory in 1981 is still a Carolina record.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY
Carolina will honor the military in a variety of ways at Saturday's Military Appreciation Day, including:
• Helmet: Carolina will wear a special white helmet with the American flag embedded in the interlocking NC logo on both sides. A red stripe runs down the middle of the helmet, flanked by two blue stripes with stars. At last year's Military Appreciation Day vs. Idaho, Carolina wore a similar blue helmet with American flag NC decals.
• Field: The Kenan Stadium end zone will have a special red, white and blue paint scheme, as will the NC logo at midfield.
• T-Shirts: Chapel Hill Sportswear, the official in-stadium merchandise provider of Carolina Athletics is selling the official Military Appreciation Day t-shirt for the game. The Military Appreciation tees can be purchased at Chapel Hill Sportswear on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill or in Kenan Stadium on the day of the game. Chapel Hill Sportswear will donate $2 from the sale of each t-shirt to the UNC ROTC program.
• Game Ball: The All Veterans Parachute team will deliver the game ball into the stadium.
• Video Board: Special recognition will be given to the military on the video board throughout the game, including messages from deployed military personnel from around the world.
COACH TO CURE MD
The UNC and ECU coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches on the sidelines Saturday to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
• North Carolina is 13-2 at Kenan Stadium since 2011 (6-1 in 2011, 6-1 in 2012, 1-0 in 2013). The Tar Heels are 7-1 at Kenan Stadium under Larry Fedora.
• OT James Hurst will make his team-leading 40th career start Saturday. Hurst is one of three Tar Heels with 30 or more starts, joining Kareem Martin (31) and Tre Boston (30). QB Bryn Renner has made 28 career starts.
• WR Sean Tapley has quietly emerged as one of the league's top kickoff return men. He ranks first in the ACC with a 25.4-yard kickoff return average. Against Georgia Tech last week, he had returns of 42, 19, 38 and 16 yards.
• Former walk-on linebacker Jeff Schoettmer has started all three games at linebacker and leads the team with 29 tackles, including a career-high 10 stops last week against Georgia Tech.
• Quarterback Bryn Renner has four touchdown passes this year and is tied with T.J. Yates for second place on the all-time UNC career chart with 58. Darian Durant is the career leader with 68.
• Junior bandit Norkeithus Otis entered 2013 with just seven career tackles. Through three games, he has 17 tackles, and leads the team in tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (3.0).
• Tight end Eric Ebron leads the team with 13 receptions. Against Georgia Tech, he posted a career-high 106 yards receiving on six catches. He made a nifty one-handed scoring grab in the first quarter.
• Carolina is averaging 47.6 points per game at home since 2012 and 25.1 on the road. UNC averaged 48.7 points per game at home in 2012, including two games with more than 60 points.
THIS DATE IN HISTORY
On Sept. 28, 1957, the Jim Tatum-led Tar Heels blasted Clemson, 26-0, at Kenan Stadium. Carolina would finish that year 6-4 with wins over Navy, Miami, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Duke.