WCU Football practice

Former Tuscola running back Caleb Ferguson rips off a run at a WCU practice.

Western Carolina’s football team will travel to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina on Friday, Dec. 11, it was announced Monday. Kickoff time, ticket information and broadcast details will be released later.

The addition of the in-state matchup combined with road games at Liberty (Nov. 14) and Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 21) gives WCU three non-conference games this fall. The Southern Conference postponed its season until the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Football Championship Subdivision playoffs were also postponed by the NCAA until the spring.

The meeting will be the third all-time between the schools. UNC won at Kenan Stadium in 2017 and 2018.

Last week, Western Carolina Athletics partnered with the U.S. Council on Athletes’ Health, which includes independent medical and healthcare professionals, to further educate athletes and their families on COVID-19 and the potential risks associated with competition. The online webinar presentation allowed WCU athletes and their parents to ask questions while considering their willingness to move forward with participation.

The Catamounts are in the third of a four-week team conditioning and weight training period. They will open a four-week preseason team practice with the first of two helmet-only sessions Oct. 7.

Atlantic Coast Conference schools are playing a schedule of 10 league games and one non-conference matchup. The Tar Heels were set to play UNC-Charlotte of Conference USA on Sept. 19. That game was called off due to COVID-19 contact tracing quarantines within the 49ers’ program. Carolina’s efforts to schedule another game for Sept. 26, which was an open date, fell through, opening the door for the game with Western.

UNC coach Mack Brown said there is a clause in the contract stating that if an ACC game is postponed and has to be moved to the weekend of Dec. 11-13, the game with WCU will not be played.