No. 17 North Carolina hosts Appalachian State on Saturday in an instate nonconference game

North Carolina running back British Brooks, right, is tackled by South Carolina defensive back B.J. Gibson during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

Appalachian State (1-0) at No. 17 North Carolina (1-0), Saturday, 5:15 p.m. ET (ACC Network)

Line: North Carolina by 18 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: UNC leads 2-1.


It's a big nonconference instate matchup with Appalachian State's long run of success — including a win in Chapel Hill in 2019 — and UNC aiming to continue climbing the national rankings behind star quarterback Drake Maye.


Appalachian State QB Joey Aguilar vs. UNC's pass rush. Aguilar took over for the injured Ryan Burger in the first half of the opener against Gardner-Webb and threw a TD pass on his first snap for the Mountaineers. He threw for 174 yards on 11-for-13 passing with four touchdowns in that game. He'll face a UNC defensive front that generated nine sacks in the season-opening win against South Carolina, the program's best total since 2000.


Appalachian State: RB Nate Noel. The fourth-year runner ran 24 times for 117 yards and a score against Gardner-Webb. He ran for 1,126 yards as recently as two seasons ago.

UNC: RB British Brooks. The sixth-year back missed last season due to injury but took a leading role in the South Carolina win. With UNC shifting to a heavier run emphasis this year, Brooks ran 15 times for 103 yards to go with three catches for 18 yards against the Gamecocks.


The Tar Heels moved up four spots in the AP Top 25 poll. ... They won 63-61 in last year's game in Boone, a wild affair that included the Mountaineers scoring 40 fourth-quarter points. ... Maye threw two interceptions to start the year in a game played without his two projected targets in transfers Devontez Walker ( NCAA transfer eligibility ) and Nate McCollum (lower-body injury). ... This ends a three-game series announced in February 2017. ... Appalachian State is 2-9 against AP Top 25 teams since joining the Bowl Subdivision ranks in 2014, though they won at then-No. 6 Texas A&M last year the week after the UNC shootout. ... Tar Heels coach Mack Brown became the first coach to win 100 games at two FBS schools, with 158 wins at Texas and the South Carolina win marking his 100th at UNC. ... Appalachian State is going for its first 2-0 start since winning its first seven games in 2019.


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