UNC Football Preview: North Carolina vs. Georgia State

Tar Heels host Georgia State in their home opener looking for the first victory of the season.
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On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, North Carolina hosts Georgia State in the 2021 home opener at Kenan Stadium. Both teams are coming off a Week 1 loss and looking to get into the winner’s circle.

Carolina lost on the road at then-unranked Virginia Tech 17-10. In the Week 2 rankings, the Hokies leap-frogged the Tar Heels up to No. 19 (AP) and No. 21 (Coaches).

Georgia State’s first game of the season doubled as their home opener. The Panthers were thumped by Army 43-10.


In the season opener, Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler led the rushing attack, with 10 attempts for 68 yards. Sam Howell technically gained the most gross rushing yards (13 for 70), but yardage losses on sacks brought him down to 35.

Heisman hopeful Howell had his fourth-lowest passing yardage performance of his college career. He finished 17-for-32 for 208 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Howell was also sacked six times, a trend that cannot continue.

As expected, Josh Downs was the leading receiver, hauling in eight passes on 11 targets for 132 yards and a touchdown. Downs’ touchdown catch gave Howell his 69th career touchdown pass, setting the career touchdown pass leader record for UNC.


Against Virginia Tech, four different Tar Heels tied for the team lead with seven total tackles (Ja’Qurious Conley, Eugene Asante, Trey Morrison, and Jeremiah Gemmel). Conley paced the team with the most solo tackles at six. He also hauled in an interception.

Tomon Fox and Kaimon Rucker teamed up to record Carolina’s lone sack of the night.

Here’s everything you need to know about Game 2 of the 2021 UNC football season:

  • #24/22 North Carolina (0-1) vs. Georgia State (0-1)
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Kenan Stadium
  • Saturday, September 11, 2021
  • 7:30 p.m. ET
  • RSN / ESPN+

All-time series: First meeting
Series Streak: First meeting

Record: 0-1 (0-1 ACC)
Head Coach: Mack Brown (Florida State, '74)
Overall Record: 259-133-1, 33rd year
Record at UNC: 84-57-1, 13th year


Record: 0-1 (0-0 SUN BELT)
Head Coach: Shawn Elliott (Appalachian State, ’96)
Overall Record: 23-31, 6th year
Record at Georgia State: 22-26, 5th year


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