Losing three of their final four games, the Tigers get a shot at redemption against a team coming in with some late-season momentum.
North Carolina got the 2001 season off to a shaky start, dropping its first three games, but that could be expected considering the competition. The Tarheels quickly righted their ship though by winning five in a row, then splitting their final four contests to finish the season at 7-5.
The Tarheels lost to Oklahoma in their season-opener, then lost to eventual ACC champion Maryland in week two and lost to another Big 12 team, Texas, in week three.
They shook off those three losses by drubbing perennial ACC power Florida State 41-9 at Chapel Hill, which started their five-game winning streak.
The Heels mid-season streak included four league games and a non-conference win against East Carolina.
UNC needed to win its last two games to have a legitimate chance at a bowl game after losing back-to-back league games to Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, which dropped the Tarheels record to 5-5. The Tarheels did just that with a 52-17 win over Duke and a 19-10 win over SMU. North Carolina finished 5-3 in the ACC which was good for third place in the league.