Top-ranked Clemson journeys to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina for the first time since 2010 when the Tigers.
The last Tiger win in Keenan Stadium came in 2002, their last trip there prior to 2010.
The Tar Heels (2-2, 1-0 ACC) jumped out to a hot start with a 24-20 win at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against South Carolina and a 28-25 thriller over Miami. However, they skidded in losses to in-state foes Wake Forest and Appalachian State the last two weeks.
Carolina head coach Mac Brown has brought some much-needed energy to the program and has found some success with freshman quarterback Sam Howell.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is familiar with Howell from a visit he made to Tigertown a few years back, and has been impressed with what he has seen from the young Tar Heel.
“Usually I don’t get to watch the opposing offenses, but I watched him play South Carolina in the opener,” Lawrence told members of the media on Monday. “I thought he played well in those two games.”
Despite a pair of interceptions in a painstaking loss to an instate Group of 5 team a week ago, Howell is off to an impressive start throwing for 1,024 yards with a 64.1-percent completion rate and nine touchdowns. And thanks to a weird non-conference game against ACC foe Wake Forest, Carolina is still undefeated in official ACC play.
Howell is off to a great start in his college career and has given Brown some unfamiliar stability at quarterback in his first season, something North Carolina lacked in its recent football history.
Clemson offered Howell as scholarship to play quarterback in 2018, the former 4-star ranked third as a dual threat quarterback coming out of high school. But Lawrence proved a good deterrent for other highly rated quarterbacks and Howell committed to the Tar Heels.
“He’s a playmaker, not your conventional quarterback guy but he just makes plays,” Lawrence said.
Clemson travels to North Carolina Saturday as it returns to ACC play, kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and will be televised by ABC.C
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