Here are some notes from UNC's eight win in its last 10 games.
With the victory the Tar Heels have won the last five bowl games they have played in. In 1995, UNC defeated Arkansas in the Carquest Bowl. In 1996, the Heels fought off West Virginia in the Gator Bowl. In 1997, Carolina solidified its top-five national ranking with a 39-point drubbing of Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. In 1998, UNC edged San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
UNC coach John Bunting joins Carl Torbush as the only Carolina coaches to win bowl games in their first seasons. Torbush actually won two, sort of. He took over for Mack Brown in December 1997, after Brown accepted the Texas job and did not coach in the Gator Bowl. The next season, however, Torbush's Heels beat San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The win improved UNC's record in the Peach Bowl to 2-3.
Carolina played eight teams this year that played in bowl games, including Auburn. Wake Forest was bowl-eligible but did not participate in the postseason.
Thirteen UNC players graduated on Dec. 20, including starters Kory Bailey, Merceda Perry, Billy-Dee Greenwood, David Thornton, Quincy Monk, Joey Evans and Jeff Reed.
After catching 4 passes and scoring six touchdowns this season, senior wide receiver Kory Bailey didn't catch a pass in the Peach Bowl. Fellow senior Danny Davis, however, had three receptions despite hauling in just one pass during the regular season.
ACC bowl records, including games played this bowl season through Dec. 31 (Clemson 13-12, Duke 3-5, Florida State 17-10-2, Georgia Tech 20-10, Maryland 6-9-2, North Carolina 12-12, N.C. State 9-9-1, Virginia 4-8, Wake Forest 3-2).
SEC bowl records through Dec. 31. Alabama 29-18-3, Arkansas 10-18-3, Auburn <14-12>, Florida 13-15, Georgia 19-15-3, Kentucky 5-5, LSU 15-16-1, Ole Miss 17-12, Miss. State 6-6, South Carolina 2-8, Tennessee 22-19, Vanderbilt 1-1-1.
Peach Bowl results matching teams currently in the ACC and SEC: 1968– LSU 31, FSU 27; 1971- Ole Miss 41, Georgia Tech 18; 1973- Georgia 17, Maryland 16; 1976- Kentucky 21, UNC 0; *1992- UNC 21, Miss. State 17; 1993- Clemson 14, Kentucky 13; 1994- N.C. State 28, Miss. State 24; 1995- Virginia 34, Georgia 27; 1996- LSU 10, Clemson 7; 1997- Auburn 21, Clemson 17; 1998- Georgia 35, Virginia 33; 1999- Miss. State 17, Clemson 7; 2000- LSU 28, Georgia Tech 14. *Note: The 1992 game was actually played on Jan. 2, 1993.
With the victory, Carolina is now 4-2 against Auburn. The last time UNC and Auburn met was in 1988 when the Tigers won easily 47-21 at Auburn. The Tigers also defeated the tar Heels the previous season 20-10 in Chapel Hill.
Florida State has played in more bowls (10) in the last 10 seasons than any other ACC team, but Carolina is second with 8 trips. The rest of the league: Clemson 7; Virginia 7; N.C. State 6; Georgia Tech 5; Wake Forest 2, Duke 1 and Maryland 1.
Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.