Two years ago, the North Carolina football team rolled into Piscataway, N.J., for its Thursday night game against Rutgers riding a wave of optimism.
The Tar Heels boasted a talented and experienced receiving corps, as well as a promising young quarterback some thought could lead UNC to its first ACC title since 1980.
But while the Tar Heels are hoping for the same result as the nationally televised 44-12 thrashing they delivered last time they were in New Jersey, the circumstances surrounding this year’s visit couldn’t be more different, as a Tar Heel loss would give UNC its first 0-3 record since 2003.
“Things that happened two years ago, obviously it’s a totally different football team,” UNC head coach Butch Davis said. “There’s guys that played offensively and defensively that, you know, they’re not going to be in that game.”
While T.J. Yates will once again be under center for the Tar Heels, he’ll have to look for new weapons from the ones he used two seasons ago to throw for three touchdowns on 221 passing yards.