Heel Tough Blog: 2020 Adjusted Schedule Breakdown

Updated: Aug 8

The Tar Heels officially readjusted 2020 schedule was revealed on Saturday morning by the school. With the team’s out-of-conference opponent now in place, here is a breakdown of the current schedule in place for Mack Brown’s squad.


Rob Kinnan- USA Today Sports/ Nick Lisi- AP Photo

September 12th: Syracuse

All-Time Meetings: 5 (2-3-0)

Last Meeting: 2018 (40-37 loss)

The Tar Heels will open the season with an ACC opponent for the first time since 2003 when they welcome in the Orange to begin this adjusted schedule. Dino Babers’ crew took a major step back in 2019, in part because of a defense that was one of college football’s worst last year. The offense was able to keep up for most of last year, but this year might be a different story with a lot of veteran seniority gone. This was a nice for draw the Tar Heels to open the season, especially with it coming at home.


Grant Halverson- Getty Images/ Mike Comer- Getty Images

September 19th: Charlotte

All-Time Meetings: 0 (0-0-0)

Last Meeting: None

For the first time in program history, the Tar Heels will face the Niners in their lone out-of-conference in 2020. Will Healy has has the program in a really promising spot right now, but there is a lot that has to be replaced from the top team in Niners history. With this game being early in the season, this matchup will heavily favor the Tar Heels and could help get them off to a strong start.


Jeffrey A. Camarati- GoHeels/ Boston College Athletics

October 3rd: @Boston College

All-Time Meetings: 5 (3-2-0)

Last Meeting: 2013 (34-10 win)

This will be just the sixth meeting all-time with the Eagles, a team who will be going through plenty of changes this offseason. Jeff Hafley takes over at head coach in place of Steve Addazio as he takes on the challenge of going from a position coach to becoming a head coach of a Power 5 team. That alone is tough enough, but then add in the fact that star running back A.J. Dillon is gone along with quarterback Anthony Brown and it may be a tough road in 2020 for the Eagles.


Grant Halverson- Getty Images/ Virginia Tech Athletics

October 10th: Virginia Tech

All-Time Meetings: 41 (11-24-6)

Last Meeting: 2019 (43-41 loss)

This game will stay put and is set to pit the two of the top teams in the ACC against each other. The Tar Heels have had their issues beating the Hokies, something they haven’t done since 2015, but they’ll likely have to get over that hump in 2020 if they want to play in the ACC Championship Game. While there have been a lot of players leaving via the transfer portal, there is still a lot in place to suggest this will be one of the Tar Heels toughest tests of the entire season.


Streeter Lecka- Getty Images/ Logan Stanford- Getty Images

October 17th: @Florida State

All-Time Meetings: 19 (3-15-1)

Last Meeting: 2016 (37-35 win)

We all remember the last time these two teams met, but this meeting will be much different this time around. Things just haven’t been the same for the Seminoles since that loss in 2016 and they are hoping for some renewed success under new head coach Mike Norvell. The team is set up to be a veteran group in 2020, primarily on the defensive side, but they will still have question marks on the offensive line and in pass defense. Traveling to Tallahassee is always a tough test, but with a limited crowd and new regime trying to find their footing, Carolina will have a good shot to make it three straight wins over the Noles.


Icon Sportwire- Getty Images/ Gerry Brome- AP Photo

October 24th: NC State

All-Time Meetings: 109 (67-36-6)

Last Meeting: 2019 (41-10 win)

This game moves to the middle of the season, which may lend well as the Tar Heels look for their first win at home against the Wolfpack since 2012. Dave Doeren’s squad has a lot departing from a team that struggled in 2019, but the rivalry alone will make this a tough game for the Tar Heels. Add in the fact that this team may be playing for Doeren’s job and there is a reason this won’t be an easy game.


Athlon Sports/ Pro Football Network

October 31st: @Virginia

All-Time Meetings: 125 (64-57-4)

Last Meeting: 2019 (38-31 loss)

The South’s Oldest Rivalry will meet for the 126th time with their earliest meeting in the rivalry since 2011. Bronco Mendenhall’s squad became the seventh different ACC Coastal champion in 2019, but many expect they’ll take a natural step back with all that is departing headlined by Bryce Perkins graduation. There is still plenty of talent on defense, though, and Mendenhall has done a great job establishing his winning mindset, meaning this will still be a tough test for the Tar Heels, especially with this game being moved later into the year.


Jeffrey A. Camarati- GoHeels/ Duke Athletics

November 7th: @Duke

All-Time Meetings: 105 (60-41-4)

Last Meeting: 2019 (20-17 win)

After a phenomenal finish to the 2019 matchup, the Tar Heels will take the short trip down the road to Durham in 2020. David Cutcliffe had a relatively young group this past year, so this should be an experienced group, although they are tasked with finding a new starter under center. With all of that, the Tar Heels will be the more talented team and should be favored to win heading into this one.


Jim Hawkins- Inside Carolina/ Wake Forest Athletics

November 14th: Wake Forest

All-Time Meetings: 107 (69-36-2)

Last Meeting: 2019 (24-18 loss)

The Demon Deacons have been progressing in the right direction under Dave Clawson, something the Tar Heels learned firsthand a year ago. This team might be set to take a step back from a year ago, but there is still a lot of talent for the Deacons, particularly on the offensive side of the football. While they do have a lot to replace, this will be one of the tougher tests of the season for the Tar Heels, one that they are lucky to draw at home.


Jeffrey A. Camarati- GoHeels/ Rick Kimball- Irish Sports Daily

November 27th: Notre Dame

All-Time Meetings: 19 (1-18-0)

Last Meeting: 2017 (33-10 loss)

The Tar Heels don’t have a great track record against the fighting, but they will hope to put that behind them for a game that could end up deciding who lands in the ACC Championship Game. There is a lot that must be replaced on this Irish team, but there is a reason that this team is seen as a top 10 team in the preseason. With this game being late in the season, those holes will likely be filled and this team will be deep. This will be the toughest test the Tar Heels will face this season and is one the Tar Heels will be happy to have in the friendly confines of Kenan Stadium.


Kevin C. Cox- Getty Images/ Charles LeClaire- USA Today Sports

December 5th: @Miami

All-Time Meetings: 21 (10-11-0)

Last Meeting: 2019 (28-25 win)

The Hurricanes are one of the favorites of the writers every year and this year will be no different. D’Eriq King’s transfer in will be what Manny Diaz hopes is the solution to an unstable quarterback situation, but there is a lot of work that will have to be done to replenish a defense that returns just five starters from a year ago. The trip to Hard Rock Stadium won’t be an easy one, but there are still a lot of questions around this Miami program.