For the first time since the 2010 season, the Tar Heels are opening the season in primetime on Saturday night.
The Tar Heels open the season against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Charlotte for the fourth time since 2015 at 7:30 PM on ABC the program announced on Wednesday. This is the first time that the Tar Heels will play in arguably the biggest game of the opening Saturday of the season since that game in 2010 where the team fell to LSU 30-24 in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
This will be the 60th meeting all time between the Tar Heels and Gamecocks with the Tar Heels holding the 35-20-4 overall edge in the series. South Carolina won the last matchup between the two back in the 2021 Duke Mayo Bowl, while the Tar Heels won the last regular season meeting back in 2019. While the Tar Heels do lead the all time series, they are just 2-7 in the last nine games between the two teams.
Recent struggles against the Gamecocks isn’t the only obstacle they will be navigating. Since Mack Brown’s return to Chapel Hill in 2019, the team is just 7-12 in games that have started after 6:00 PM. The team has also just struggled in general with nationally televised games since his return. In the four seasons of his second stint in Chapel Hill, the program has gone just 10-15 in such games and has won just five of their last thirteen. The team will have to find a way to shake both of those issues if they want to prevail in this important season opening tilt in the Queen City.
The team also received game times land television information for their Week 2 and Week 3 games on Wednesday as well. The game against Appalachian State on September 9th will be a 5:15 PM kickoff in Kenan Stadium on the ACC Network. Meanwhile, the September 16th meeting in Chapel Hill will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 starting at 3:30 PM.