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Going Scouting: North Carolina

After Pitt is finished with their game against Syracuse Saturday, get an early look, before the short week, at the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Playing North Carolina on a short week isn't exactly great for Pitt, but that's what will happen this week with the Tar Heels invade Heinz Field this Thursday.

The last two years have left a terrible taste in the mouth of Panther fans. There was 2013 when Pitt rallied from a massive second half deficit, only to see Ryan Switzer crush their dreams of a dramatic victory by returning a punt late in the game for the game-winning touchdown (his second of said game). Then there was last year, when it seemed like Pitt's defense missed sack after sack on quarterback Marquise Williams to seal the game and North Carolina came out with a 5 point win. It really seems like Pitt owes the Tar Heels one, doesn't it?

Pitt fans will be able to get a glimpse of North Carolina immediately following the Panthers' game against Syracuse when the Tar Heels face Virginia. You may be surprised, after the hiring of new defensive coordinator, Gene Chizik, what this year's team looks like. They are on the verge of the Top 25 and come Thursday night, we could be in for a real-life matchup between Top 25 programs.

The schedule makers helped you out a little today and Larry Fedora's team plays host to Virginia at 3:30 p.m. (right about the time Pitt will be done). It is on ESPN3, so check your local listings or crack open your laptop to watch the Tar Heels. If the Panthers take care of business and the Heels do so as well, we just may see both teams ranked heading into Thursday night.

Will both teams be able to avoid the trap that lays ahead on Saturday? Hopefully they do and you can tune in to be prepared for an improved version of North Carolina football come Thursday.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author@BrunoPittsburgh.