UNC Football: Games to keep an eye on this week

Usually on a Saturday morning during football season, this will be our how-to-watch post that lets you know how to check out the North Carolina game that day. However, the Tar Heels are off this week with a bye before their matchup with Notre Dame next weekend. The “Week Zero” game against Florida A&M gave UNC an extra week for the 12 games to be spread. As a result, the Heels will get two bye weeks this year, and we’re crossing one off the list this weekend.

Hopefully, the bye week will give Carolina a chance to build on what worked and try to fix what didn’t. However, as people not involved or coaching the team, it also gives us a few free hours to watch football outside of UNC. So instead of getting ready to watch Carolina, here’s a look at some games to watch from a Tar Heels perspective today.

Cal at Notre Dame – 2:30 PM ET on NBC/Peacock

As mentioned, the Irish are next on the schedule for UNC. However, while Carolina has a bye before this game, Notre Dame does not as they prepare to host the Cal Golden Bears this weekend. This game will be interesting overall, even beyond the UNC perspective. There will be eyes on Notre Dame as people watch them rebound from an 0-2 start that included a home loss to Marshall.

While the loss to Ohio State was completely understandable, Notre Dame’s loss to the Thundering Herd is… less so. It’s clear that Notre Dame is not the No. 5 team in the nation as the AP poll made them out to be in week one. However, there is still talent on this roster, so can they use it to get back on track against Cal? It will be interesting to see how they look before the game against the Heels.

Also, it will be interesting to see what they can take from this game. Can they crush Cal and get some mojo back and then use it for next weekend? A loss that drops them to 0-3 might suggest they’re not a good team, but it might also provide extra motivation for UNC to play. Is it better to have a buffer between playing Marshall or would it have been better to get them while they were still licking their wounds? Anyway, this is probably the most interesting game this weekend from UNC’s perspective.

#13 Miami at #24 Texas A&M – 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

UNC’s conference season will begin against Virginia Tech on Oct. 1. From a fan perspective, there probably isn’t much we can take from the Hokies’ game against Wofford this weekend, even though Tech has already lost to a weaker conference opponent. However, UNC’s second ACC opponent of the season? Well, there are probably some things we can learn from their game this weekend.

Miami is set to face Texas A&M, who, rather remarkably, share a common opponent with UNC this season. The Aggies suffered a home loss to Appalachian State last weekend, scoring just 14 points on a defense that UNC put up 63. Now there’s only so much you can read into the transition stuff, but it should be interesting to see how the Coastal favorite preseason division going against a team that just lost to a G5 team, especially a G5 team that Carolina just beat.

Other than that, it might be worth keeping an eye on how all of UNC’s upcoming ACC opponents look this weekend. Other than that, the other most interesting game is probably NC State hosting Texas Tech (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2).

Charlotte at Georgia State – 7:00 PM ET on ESPN+

I’m not saying watch this one so much as keep an eye on the stats and the score. We got a pretty immediate confirmation on UNC after battling the app, now let’s see how the Panthers follow up their close loss.

Charlotte is clearly not on the same level as Texas A&M and has really struggled to start the season. If Georgia State comes in and blows them out of the water, then maybe we can feel a little better about UNC’s performance against them.

If none of those games appeal to you, there are plenty of UNC teams in action today, including women’s soccer, which will play Virginia at 6pm ET on ACC Network Extra.

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