CHAPEL HILL --- Six home dates at Kenan Stadium, a pair of Thursday night road games and a meeting with border rival South Carolina to open the season highlight the 2019 North Carolina football schedule as announced by the Atlantic Coast Conference Wednesday.
The Tar Heels begin head coach Mack Brown's second tenure at Carolina against the Gamecocks in Charlotte in the Belk College Kickoff Game on Aug. 31. One week later, the Tar Heels will host Miami at Kenan on Sept. 7, the earliest ACC opener for UNC since 2003.
A pair of unique non-conference games follow, with Carolina visiting Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 12, and hosting Appalachian State during Family Weekend on Sept. 21. The trip to Winston-Salem will mark the first non-league showdown with the Demon Deacons since Wake joined the Southern Conference prior to the 1936 season. The Mountaineers, whom Brown led as head coach in 1983, make their first visit to Chapel Hill since 1940.
UNC returns to conference play on Sept. 28 to host reigning CFP National Champion Clemson. The Tigers will be the first consensus reigning champs ever to visit Kenan, and the first national champion of any kind to come to Chapel Hill since Tennessee in 1951. Clemson last visited in 2010, a 21-16 Tar Heel victory.
The month of October features a trio of ACC Coastal opponents as well as the first of two open dates. Carolina travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Oct. 5 before an open date on Oct. 12. The Tar Heels will then return to the road to face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Oct. 19.
Duke comes to Kenan for Homecoming and Monogram Day on Oct. 26, the first of back-to-back rivalry games in Chapel Hill. UNC and Virginia will face off in the 124th edition of the South's Oldest Rivalry on Nov. 2 before the Tar Heels' second open date. The UVA game will also serve as Military Appreciation Day at Kenan Stadium.
The final stretch begins with a Thursday night visit to Pittsburgh on Nov. 14. Carolina, which has won six in a row over the Panthers, visits Heinz Field for a Thursday night game for the third time in as many games in the Steel City.
UNC closes out its non-conference schedule on Nov. 23 with a Senior Day contest against Mercer, the first meeting between the two programs since 1925.
For the fifth consecutive season, Carolina will wrap up the regular season against NC State, with the Tar Heels visiting Raleigh on Nov. 30.