- Associated Press - Thursday, August 28, 2014

LIBERTY (0-0) AT NO. 23 NORTH CAROLINA (0-0), 6:04 p.m. (ESPN3).

Line: No line.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

North Carolina enters the season with a national ranking for the first time since 2010 and with the goal of winning the wide-open Coastal Division in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It could use a good start against Liberty, who is playing a ranked bowl subdivision opponent for the first time.

KEY MATCHUP

Liberty’s defense against UNC’s running attack. The Flames ranked near the top of the Big South Conference last year in the main defensive categories, allowing a league-low 17.6 points. The Tar Heels have an inexperienced offensive line but four talented runners behind it, including sophomore T.J. Logan and touted freshman Elijah Hood.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Liberty: RB D.J. Anbar. Leading rusher Desmond Rice (967 yards, 16 touchdowns) will miss the season with a knee injury, opening the door for Anbar to make his first career start against UNC. Anbar ran for 411 yards and six scores last year.

North Carolina: QBs Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky. Williams has the edge in experience over the redshirt freshman with six starts last year. Coach Larry Fedora has refused to name a starter and has proven willing to play two QBs in games. This game could be just another step in a position battle that is extending into the season.

FACTS & FIGURES

UNC suspended four defensive players - including starting cornerbacks Des Lawrence and Brian Walker - on Wednesday for a violation of team policy. … UNC had just six scholarship seniors on its preseason roster. … UNC’s Ryan Switzer tied an NCAA single-season record with five touchdown returns last year. … Liberty third-year coach Turner Gill led the Flames to a share of the Big South Conference title during each of his first two seasons. … Liberty passing-game coordinator Joe Dailey played quarterback for UNC in 2006. … The Flames have two wins against FBS teams, most recently against Ball State in 2010.