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After wild win, North Carolina hits road again to play Georgia St.

Sep 3, 2022; Boone, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) dives into the end zone for the two point conversion attempt pursued by Appalachian State Mountaineers linebacker Nick Hampton (9) during the second half at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina will make a road trip into the Sun Belt Conference for the second straight week on Saturday, this time going to Atlanta to play Georgia State.

The Tar Heels (2-0) are coming off a wild 63-61 win over Appalachian State. Georgia State (0-1) will try to bounce back from a 35-14 loss at South Carolina.

The two teams played last year, with North Carolina taking a 59-17 win in Chapel Hill.

“This is going to be a really good team,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “I don’t know when — I hope sooner than later — but it’s got a lot of young guys out there. Got to play the ball better on defense and keep getting better.”

North Carolina’s main problem is on defense. The Tar Heels allowed 40 points to Appalachian State in the fourth quarter alone and came within an overthrown two-point conversion pass of being taken to overtime. They allowed 649 total yards, 288 of that coming on the ground.

The ground game is where Georgia State excels. The Panthers have four returning starters on the offensive line and two returning all-conference running backs in honorable mention Jamyest Williams, who ran for 76 of Georgia State’s 200 yards against South Carolina, and Tucker Gregg.

The Panthers allowed two punts blocked for touchdowns and fell for a fake punt that led to another touchdown.

“I think offensively and defensively we played those guys right to a tee, if not a little bit better,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “There were positives coming out of that contest, but winning was not one of the positives, unfortunately.”

The North Carolina offense is led by quarterback Drake Maye. He threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 76 yards and one touchdown against Appalachian State. Caleb Hood rushed for 87 yards and the Tar Heels had 567 total yards.

The Georgia State defense came up with three sacks, seven tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries. Cornerback Quavian White intercepted two passes.

–Field Level Media