No. 12 Tar Heels end long layoff against Boston College

No. 12 North Carolina (1-0, 1-0 ACC) at Boston College (2-0, 1-0), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC).

Line: North Carolina by 13 1/2.

Series record: North Carolina 5-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Tar Heels are among the teams chasing Clemson in the ACC, and a stumble against a Boston College team that struggled to put away Texas State could devastate their goals for the season. The Eagles have not beaten a ranked team since 2014, when they topped No. 9 Southern California 37-31 in the first Red Bandana game honoring Welles Crowther, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks trying to rescue others.

KEY MATCHUP

North Carolina coach Mack Brown has won nearly 250 games in his 32-year career, including a national championship at Texas in 2005 and a trip to the BCS title game four years later. He has never faced Boston College. Jeff Hafley, who is in his first head coaching job, is looking to be the second BC coach in 50 years to start his BC career 3-0 and the first since Jeff Jagodzinski in 2007.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

North Carolina: RB Javonte Williams. The junior had three fourth-quarter touchdown runs to help the Tar Heels blow the game open against Syracuse, joining with Michael Carter to form a strong 1-2 running punch. Williams has scored three touchdowns in two of his last three outings.

Boston College: RB David Bailey. The Eagles led the ACC in rushing last year, when A.J. Dillon posted his third consecutive 1,000-yard season. But Bailey has just 84 yards on 26 carries so far this season, and last week was outgained by quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first time UNC has had consecutive regular-season open dates since a campus polio outbreak during the 1952 season. … The Tar Heels are hoping to get starting offensive guard Joshua Ezeudu back from an unspecified injury that sidelined him in the opener. … The Tar Heels have outscored their last four opponents by a combined score of 183-36. … BC’s victory over Texas State was its first double-digit comeback since Matt Ryan rallied the Eagles from a 10-0 deficit at No. 11 Virginia Tech on Oct. 25, 2007. … BC is 31-112-1 all-time against ranked opponents. … BC’s Hunter Long, who has 16 catches for 174 yards and two TDs, leads the nation in receptions by a tight end. … Jurkovec is second nationally among all quarterbacks with 368 second-half passing yards.

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