By R.L. Bynum
North Carolina (4–2, 4–2 ACC) at Duke (2–5, 1–5 ACC)
Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham
Where to watch: ESPN2
TV announcers: Roy Philpott (play by play), Kelly Stouffer (analyst) and Alex Chappell (sideline reporter)
Line: UNC -11.5
Last season’s meeting: UNC won 20–17 in Chapel Hill.
Last week: Carolina lost at Virginia 44–41 and Duke won at home against Charlotte 53–10. The 49ers on Friday postponed their scheduled Saturday game with Middle Tennessee because of COVID-19 issues.
Coaches’ records in rivalry: UNC’s Mack Brown is 9-2 and Duke’s David Cutcliffe is 5-7.
Series record: UNC leads 62–40–4 according to Carolina, 61–41–4 according to Duke.and 61–40–4 according to the ACC. Both teams stayed home in 1889 because they both believed they were the home team. Both claim the victory that year by forfeit and the ACC doesn’t give either a victory. The Tar Heels haven’t beaten Duke in consecutive seasons since 2014 and 2015.
Series record in Durham: UNC leads 29–19–2, according to the ACC. Duke has won three of the last four meetings at Wade Stadium, including the last two in 2016 and 2018.
Key matchup to watch:
Duke defensive ends Victor Dimukeje and Chris Rumph vs. UNC’s offensive line
Victor Dimukeje, a 6–3, 265-pound senior, has 21.5 career sacks and needs one more to break the school career record (22). He and fellow defensive end Chris Rumph, a 6–4, 235-pound redshirt junior, each have 7.5 sacks per game and are tied for the ACC lead. (Carolina’s leader is Tomari Fox with four.) Carolina is 90th in the country in sacks allows with 19.
Will UNC’s offensive line give quarterback Sam Howell enough time to throw? Carolina tackles Asim Richards and Jordan Tucker and tight end Garrett Walston will have to be effective in blocking the talented pair of Blue Devil defensive ends. If not, Howell will have to make quick decisions. According to Pro Football Focus, his pass completion percentage falls from 76.5% to 53.4% when he keeps the ball longer than 2.5 seconds.
Key statistic: Turnovers
The Blue Devils have committed more turnovers than any team in the country with 23 (tied for second are Georgia Tech and Mississippi State with 19 each). That breaks down to 10 fumbles lost and 13 interceptions. Quarterback Chase Brice, a transfer from Clemson, has 11 of those interceptions. Duke’s turnover margin of -1.43 per game is 103rd in the country. Conversely, UNC is tied for 50th in the country in forced turnovers with only seven (1 forced fumble and six interceptions.) Carolina is even on turnover margin, tied for 55th in the country.
Matchup by the numbers
|Won 26–22*||Boston College||Lost 26–6|
|Lost 44–41*||Virginia||Lost 38–20*|
|Won 56–45||Virginia Tech||Lost 38–31|
|Won 31–6||Syracuse||Won 38–25*|
|Won 48–21||N.C. State||Lost 31–20*|
|* — road game|
|UNC||Per game statistics||Duke|
|38.3 (2nd in ACC)||Scoring offense||25.9 (11th)|
|28.2 (7th)||Scoring defense||29.0 (8th)|
|532.0 (1st)||Total offense||402.0 (10th)|
|382.0 (4th)||Total defense||393.0 (7th)|
|223.0 (3rd)||Rushing offense||167.1 (10th)|
|142.2 (5th)||Rushing defense||155.1 (7th)|
|309.0 (2nd)||Pass offense||234.3 (7th)|
|239.8 (8th)||Pass defense||239.9 (7th)|
|176.8 (1st)||Pass efficiency||108.2 (13th)|
|123.5 (5th)||Pass defense efficiency||127.9 (7th)|
|48.5% (3rd)||3rd-down conversions||40.6% (7th)|
|0 (9th)||Turnover margin||-10 (14th)|
Individual statistical leaders
|Sam Howell||176.85 rating, 118–176–4, 1,846 yards, 14 TDs, 307.7 yards per game|
|Jace Ruder||167.20 rating 1–1–0, 8 yards, 0 TDs, 8 yards per game|
|Michael Carter||83–659, 3 TDs, 108.0 yards per game|
|Javonte Williams||95–632, 11 TDs, 102.7 yards per game|
|Dyami Brown||35–641, 6 TDs, 106.8 yards per game|
|Dazz Newsome||18–209, 1 TD, 34.8 yards per game|
|Michael Carter||14–128, 0 TDs, 21.3 yards per game|
|Chazz Surratt||24 tackles, 18 assists, 4 sacks, hurried QBs 5 times|
|Jeremiah Gemmel||23 tackles, 16 assists, 1 sack, hurried QBs 4 times|
|Don Chapman||28 tackles, 8 assists, 2 sacks|
|Tomari Fox||17 tackles, 18 assists, 4 sacks, hurried QB once|
|Chase Brice||108.80 rating, 136–247–11, 1,567 yards, 7 TDs, 223.9 yards per game|
|Gunnar Holmberg||94.30 rating, 3–4–1, 33 yards, 0 TDs, 11.0 yards per game|
|Deon Jackson||118–571, 4 TDs, 78.1 yards per game|
|Mataeo Durant||71–468, 5 TDs, 65.7 yards per game|
|Jake Bobo||22–260, 1 TD, 37.1 yards per game|
|Noah Gray||25–244, 2 TDs, 35.9 yards per game|
|Jalon Calhoun||21-223, 2 TDs, 31.9 yards per game|
|Shaka Heyward||32 tackles, 26 assists, 2 sacks|
|Marquis Waters||29 tackles, 11 assists, 1 sack|
|Chris Rumph||15 tackles, 20 assists, 7.5 sacks, hurried QBs 4 times|
|Victor Dimukeje||14 tackles, 13 assists, 7.5 sacks, hurried QBs 4 times|