For the first time since 1997, the UNC football team has started 3-0 in back-to-back seasons following a commanding 31-13 win against Minnesota on Saturday.
Between a stout defensive showing and 519 yards of total offense, North Carolina has positive momentum heading into ACC play against Pittsburgh.
With the prospect of emerging 4-0, the Tar Heel offense must fire on all cylinders to overcome a talented Pitt defense.
Here are the keys to a strong offensive showing against the Panthers:
The Maye-McCollum Connection:
In the absence of preseason standout wide receiver Devontez 'Tez' Walker due to eligibility issues, junior Nate McCollum has stepped into the No. 1 wideout role for the Tar Heels. The McCollum-Maye chemistry was strong on Saturday with the Georgia Tech transfer hauling in 15 receptions, one shy of tying the UNC single-season reception record.
McCollum recorded 165 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore quarterback Drake Maye completed 29 of 40 passes and racked up 414 passing yards in the game.
Minnesota was McCollum's first start, however, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey doesn't think the mojo between Maye and McCollum is a one-off.
“They've worked extremely hard since Nate got here,” Lindsey said. “Through spring ball, through the summer, they have a really good feel for each other. I think it's one of those things [that's going to] continue to grow as the season goes.”