As North Carolina enters Truist Field in Winston-Salem on Saturday night, they will find themselves one win away from clinching the Coastal division and a spot in the ACC Championship in Charlotte.
Standing in their way will be a Wake Forest team on a two-game losing streak and looking to get back on track after dropping to 6-3 on the season.
Two dynamic offenses will meet in what is the third matchup between the in-state foes in the last three seasons.
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye will look to continue his Heisman Trophy campaign, adding onto his FBS-leading 31 passing touchdowns.
In a contest with two defenses that have turned in subpar performance at times throughout the season, an offensive slug-fest seems to be on tap for Saturday.
With the Tar Heels seeking their first 9-1 start since 2015, we bring you the keys to the game for the primetime matchup in Winston-Salem.
Make Sam Hartman Uncomfortable
There's no denying the talent of Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who has thrown for close to 11,700 yards and 96 touchdowns in his career. There's also no denying that the fifth-year signal caller has struggled in the Demon Deacons past two games.
In losses to Louisville and NC State in back-to-back weeks, Hartman recorded just three touchdown passes, while throwing six interceptions and losing three fumbles.
A bad game is expected throughout the course of the season, but you can point to the strategy of the two defenses as the reason for Hartman's struggles.
Both the Cardinals and Wolfpack were intent on making life uncomfortable for Hartman, bringing pressure and forcing him to make split second decisions.
For North Carolina, this is a big way to prevent explosive plays and potentially force turnovers. With injuries to key contributors, the talent up front may not match that of the previous two Wake Forest opponents, but the recipe for success is out there.
Blitzing at opportune moments and bringing pressure on a quarterback who has struggled against it can give the Tar Heels a big advantage in their last road game of the season.
Exploit Wake Forest Secondary
In conference play, the Demon Decon secondary has been an area of weakness for the Wake Forest defense.
With zero interceptions and the 10th best passing defense in the ACC, matchups against Josh Downs and Antoine Green could bring problems for the secondary.
Of course it can go without saying that Drake Maye needs to continue to do what he's done all season, but focusing on exploiting the Wake Forest defensive backs and taking deep shots are key.
In their three losses, Wake Forest has allowed six receiving touchdowns to wide receivers and nine total passing touchdowns. For an offense that has one of, if not the best quarterback-wide receivers duos in the country, the opportunity is there to be successful.
North Carolina has avoided penalties and self-inflicting setbacks in ACC play, ranking second in the fewest number of penalty yards per game.
The issue for Saturday is the rate at which Demon Deacon opponents are penalized. Wake Forest opponents average a league-high 90.6 penalty yards in conference play, 10 more yards than the next closest team.
Playing smart and within their gameplan is vital to preventing penalties that either hinder offensive drives or extend the Demon Deacons' offense's time on the field.
Committing infractions is inevitable and at times it's necessary to prevent big plays, but Wake Forest will try to make the Tar Heels beat themselves.
If North Carolina can limit the number of penalties, their chances of staying in the game are high.