ESPN projects which game will be season-defining for UNC football

The UNC football program enters the 2023 season hoping to get better after losing four straight to end last season. The Tar Heels started hot last season before faltering in the end.

With quarterback Drake Maye back and new offensive weapons, UNC is probably going to rely on the offense and hope the defense is better.

The one thing going against UNC is a really tough schedule this season, especially toward the end. In the final three games, UNC will host Duke and then travel to Clemson and NC State.

One analyst believes that final game is a season-defining game. Here is what ESPN said about the Tar Heels’ finale at NC State:

There are plenty of possibilities to choose from for North Carolina, which plays South Carolina, Appalachian State, Miami, Minnesota and Clemson this season. But the choice here is the regular-season finale against in-state rival NC State on Nov. 25, a team that has won two straight games to hold bragging rights in the series. NC State has won five of the past seven meetings, and considering the difficulty of the conference schedule has increased with the addition of Clemson in the regular season, this one could be a “must win” for ACC championship game hopes. Losing a rivalry game to end the season is never ideal. It should also be noted UNC ends with its rivals (Duke on Nov. 11) in two of the last three games with Clemson sandwiched in between. That three-game stretch could end up being the season-defining one for the Tar Heels. — Adelson

It will be interesting to see how things play out for North Carolina but going into the year, there are some high expectations and that’s thanks to Maye.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire