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#23 UNC vs NC State

Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
When: Saturday, November 28th, Noon
Records: UNC 8-3, 4-3 ACC; NCSU 4-7, 1-6 ACC


Those numbers have been a pox on the UNC house for over a year now. Any football discussion with NCSU fans comes back to that score. It was an embarrassment. It was humiliating. And for all the good we saw last season with Butch Davis turning the program around from a 4-8 season to finish 8-5 with a bowl game appearance, 41-10 became that ugly wart UNC could not rid itself of.

Until today.

Despite the atrocious nature of the NCSU defense which should make even T.J. Yates look good this game is fraught with danger. It is a rivalry game on the road. NCSU is as wounded as they possibly could be in terms of their record. At 4-7 and 1-6 ACC, this game serves as the thin line between crowing about a 3rd straight win over UNC and a season rendered completely worthless by every available measure. NCSU has nothing to lose so it is a safe bet the Wolfpack will throw everything they have onto the field. In addition to the already volatile nature of this game emotionally, NCSU lost their offensive coordinator Dana Bible for a period of time while he undergoes treatment for leukemia. That fact alone is enough to have Wolfpack players amped up to win one for their missing coach. Needless to say the Wolfpack will be ready to toss a monkey wrench into the Tar Heels' season.

So do the Tar Heels do about it? They come is and beat the ever living crap out of NCSU. The Heels' defense comes in and gives Russell Wilson all the encouragement in the world to go ahead and focus on baseball full time. The UNC offense, as woeful as it might be at times should do what every other offense in the ACC has done and score points in droves. Unlike last season UNC comes into this game on a roll. Ever since the loss to FSU, this team has been clicking, especially on the defensive end. Last season it felt like the Heels had peaked. In 2009 it just seems like UNC gets better with every game.

For the Heels this game is about nine wins and revenge. There is some stirrings that maybe Butch Davis did not emphasize this game enough with his team last season pulled a Herb Sendek in his approach. The irony of this season is Butch Davis does not really have to correct that mistake this season. These players know what the deal is and have had this game in their sights since last season. I expect the Heels to come out ready to play.

There is no excuse for them to do otherwise.