After a nail-biting 40-34 win in double overtime against Appalachian State last weekend, North Carolina will face Minnesota at Kenan Stadium on Saturday.
Following a game in which the Mountaineers totaled nearly 500 yards, head coach Mack Brown emphasized on Monday that UNC's defense needed to improve at keeping opposing offenses off the field.
With an undefeated Golden Gophers team coming to Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels will have their work cut out for them. Here are three keys for UNC to start the season 3-0 for the second straight year.
Get the defense back on track
One week after recording nine sacks against South Carolina and holding the Gamecocks to 17 points, the defense “made twice as many mistakes” against App State, according to Brown.
The Mountaineers exploited North Carolina's sagging coverage, as App State quarterback Joey Aguilar made quick throws to his receivers before UNC's pass rushers could bring him down.
"We’ve got to do a better job of playing tighter coverage and making sure we can allow our guys to get there,” Brown said.
Though the defensive line didn’t have enough time to sack Aguilar, they were able to pressure him.
UNC hurried the signal-caller nine times, causing Aguilar to complete just 51 percent of his passes.