Heels to host top 10 Miami

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 06:32 PM

In only the second ESPN Thursday night home game ever for North Carolina, the Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2 ACC) have a chance to salvage what has been a disappointing season to date.

Among the preseason favorites for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division title — they finished atop the division last season but couldn’t claim the title because of NCAA and ACC restrictions — the Tar Heels are looking to shake up the national rankings with a win over division rival No. 10 Miami (5-0, 1-0 ACC) on Thursday night (7:45, ESPN).

The Tar Heels lost their only prior Thursday night ESPN game at Kenan Stadium — 30-27 to Florida State in 2009 — and are looking to beat a top 10 team for the first time since No. 4 Miami fell at Kenan in 2004.

That was three coaches removed from current coach Larry Fedora. John Bunting (2001-06) would be on the sidelines for two more seasons, followed by Butch Davis (2007-10) and Everett Withers (2011).

UNC has played on national TV on Thursday night on the road already this season, falling at South Carolina in both teams’ openers.

The Tar Heels will get a boost with the return to the starting lineup of quarterback Bryn Renner who missed UNC’s previous game, a loss at Virginia Tech, with an ankle injury.