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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 26, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kenan Memorial Stadium (62,980) -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: FS-FL, MW, W, NESN+, ROOT. Home Record: BC 3-1, UNC 1-2. Away Record: BC 0-2, UNC 0-3. Neutral Record: BC 0-0, UNC 0-0. Conference Record: BC 1-2, UNC 0-3. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: Still looking for their first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season, the North Carolina Tar Heels welcome the Boston College Eagles to Kenan Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Boston College had a bye last week, and put up a fight at nationally-ranked Clemson on Oct. 12, losing 24-14. The setback for the Eagles was their third in the last four games after opening the season with two straight wins. They are 3-3 overall, 1-2 in the ACC, and have yet to win away from home.
North Carolina is without question one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season. After finishing the 2012 campaign at 8-4, the Tar Heels have won just one of their first six games. They fell to 0-3 in league play on Oct. 17 in a heartbreaker versus visiting Miami-Florida, coughing up a 10- point, fourth-quarter lead to fall, 27-23.
The Tar Heels leads the young series with BC by a 4-2 count, which includes wins in all three prior matchups in Chapel Hill.
In a conference chock full of strong offenses, Boston College lags behind by scoring just 25.2 ppg while ranking 12th of 14 ACC teams in putting up only 352.8 ypg. The Eagles' third-down conversion rate (.329) is the worst in the league.
Chase Rettig has taken every snap this season, and he is completing nearly 64 percent of his passes and has 10 touchdowns paired with just four interceptions, but he's only throwing for slightly more than 180 ypg.
The Eagles are committed to the run, with more than 64 percent of their plays staying on the ground. Andre Williams is the workhorse, earning 157 carries for 838 yards, both ACC-highs, to go along with seven touchdowns.
Rettig is locked in on Alex Amidon out wide, as he ranks fourth in the league in receptions (38) and seventh in receiving yards (587), while scoring three touchdowns. No one else on the team has more than eight catches.
The Eagles have also dipped below the league average on defense, ranking 10th in scoring defense (26.3 ppg) and 13th in total defense (422.3 ypg), although they are coming off a solid showing at Clemson a few weeks back, allowing the potent Tigers just 24 points.
The squad has racked up 16 sacks through six games, with Kasim Edebali leading the way with 4.5. Manuel Asprilla is tied with Edebali for the team lead in TFL with 6.0, Kevin Pierre-Louis has 59 total tackles, and Bryce Jones has picked off a pair of passes.
UNC has been solid this season with regard to moving the ball as it averages 410.7 ypg, but all that yardage has not resulted in enough points, as it scores just 23.5 per game.
Bryn Renner is having a solid campaign, but is well off the pace he set last season when he threw for 3,356 yards and 28 touchdowns. The senior is completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions.
Renner has an impressive receiving duo to rely on in Eric Ebron and Quinshad Davis. Ebron is a big play waiting to happen with 31 receptions for 532 yards and three touchdowns, while Davis (27 receptions, 379 yards) becomes a factor in the red zone with five scores.
The Achilles' heel for UNC has been the rushing attack, which ranks last in the ACC with just 605 yards (2.9 ypc). A.J. Blue (224 yards) and Romar Morris (171 yards, three TDs) have been the team's most effective runners.
Even more worrisome than their under performing offense is the Tar Heels' porous defense, which ranks last in the league in both points (30.7 ppg) and yards allowed (456.0 ypg). The unit cannot get off the field either, permitting its foes to convert third downs at a 45 percent clip.
Jeff Schoettmer leads the way with 52 tackles, while Kareem Martin (7.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks), Norkeithus Otis (5.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, two FF) and Darius Lipford (5.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks) have done damage behind the line of scrimmage. Tre Boston has three interceptions and Dominique Green has picked off two passes.
Boston College overachieved early in the season and has come crashing back down to Earth in recent weeks. UNC has not played nearly as bad as its record indicates -- three of its last four losses have come by 10 points or less -- and against a vulnerable Eagles defense, the Heels should find a way to notch their first conference win of the year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 31, Boston College 28
10/23 10:37:19 ET
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