UNC’s early season blues

UNC heads into Saturday’s game at Illinois in need of a victory not only to get in the win column for the first time this season, but also to put an end to a decades-long streak of futility against major conference opposition in the opening weeks of the regular season.

North Carolina put together some huge opening-game victories towards the end of the Mack Brown era in Chapel Hill — a 31-9 blowout of Southern California in 1993 and a 45-0 domination of Clemson in 1996 come to mind. But coming off Carolina’s season-opening loss to Georgia in the Georgia Dome over Labor Day weekend, it has been approximately two decades since the Tar Heels have beaten a marquee opponent to start a new football season.

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