First Look: 2013 Football Schedule
The 2013 Carolina football schedule features nine ACC games, seven games in Kenan Stadium (including a Thursday night date with Miami) and an opportunity for the Tar Heels to continue to improve in their second season under Larry Fedora.
The 2012 Tar Heels finished 8-4 and 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Had the Tar Heels been eligible for the postseason, the team would have represented the Coastal Division in the program’s first ACC Championship game. With the ban lifted in 2013, Carolina will look to secure a conference championship and a bowl invitation.
The Tar Heels will be tested early with a marquee matchup in Columbia to open the season. The South Carolina Gamecocks (11-2 in 2012) won the last meeting with Carolina (21-15 in 2007 in Chapel Hill) and have won four of the last five dating back to 1988.
The Tar Heels open the home slate on September 7 against Middle Tennessee State (8-4). The Carolina coaching staff has ties to the Blue Raiders program as both Fedora and offensive coordinator Blake Anderson spent time in Murfreesboro, and tight ends coach Walt Bell is a Middle Tennessee graduate and letterman.
For the second straight season (and the fourth time in the last six years), Carolina comes off a bye week to face Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech (7-7, 5-3 ACC). The Tar Heels have just one win in the last eight meetings with the Yellow Jackets.
East Carolina (8-5) renew an in-state rivalry on September 28. The Pirates and Tar Heels will battle for the 16th time, and the eighth time since the rivalry was renewed in 2001. Carolina is 12-2-1 all-time against ECU.
The following weekend, Carolina travels to Virginia Tech (7-6, 4-4), looking to win in Blacksburg for just the third time in program history. The Hokies had an unusually mediocre season in 2012 and fell 48-34 in Chapel Hill.
Then, it’s 12 days until fall break and a Thursday night date with Miami (7-5, 5-3). Carolina hosts just the second Thursday ESPN game in school history and looks to bounce back from a heartbreaking 30-27 loss to Florida State in 2009. The Tar Heels defeated Miami 18-14 in Coral Gables last season, and the two teams are 4-4 since the Hurricanes joined the ACC.
The Tar Heels face Boston College (2-10, 1-7) nine days later in Chapel Hill. The Eagles are under new head coach Steve Addazio and haven’t faced the Tar Heels since 2009, a 31-13 victory in Chestnut Hill.
The rivalry with N.C. State (7-6, 4-4) is renewed on November 2. The meeting at Carter-Finley will be the Tar Heels’ first with the Wolfpack under new head coach Dave Doeren.
Paul Chryst and the Pitt Panthers (6-7) join the ACC’s Coastal Division in 2013, and Carolina hits the Steel City on November 16.
Carolina hosts a final non-conference game on November 23 against Old Dominion. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools as the Monarchs transition to FBS play for 2014.
The regular season finale is November 30 against rival Duke (6-7, 3-5). The Blue Devils snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Tar Heels last fall, and Larry Fedora will look to re-capture the Victory Bell.
At first glance, the football schedule appears to set up nicely for the Tar Heels to make a run at the Coastal Division championship, and perhaps more, in 2013.