College Football Preview: Wake Forest at North Carolina
CHAPEL HILLó Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price is eager for the chance to beat North Carolina and earn a sweep of the Demon Deacons’ three instate Atlantic Coast Conference rivals.
The Tar Heels are chasing the same thing heading into today’s matchup, not to mention that both teams are a win from bowl eligibility.
The Demon Deacons (5-2, 4-1) haven’t played the Tar Heels in four years due to ACC cross-divisional scheduling rotations, though they swept UNC, Duke and North Carolina State in both 2006 and 2007. They’ve already beaten the Wolfpack and Blue Devils this year, and can complete their sweep with a third straight win against the Tar Heels (5-3, 1-3).
“This state is really split up between Wake, Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina,” Price said, “so anytime you play the instate schools, there’s a little rivalry within it.”
The Tar Heels are getting their first shot against an instate ACC rival, though they beat the state’s other Bowl Subdivision program ó East Carolina ó earlier this month. The Tar Heels haven’t beaten all three ACC instate rivals since 2004 and haven’t beaten all four instate FBS programs in the same season in 30 years.
Yet while interim coach Everett Withers said he hopes his team gains extra motivation by facing an instate opponent, this game is more about stopping a two-game skid that has stalled the momentum from a fast start.
“Like Coach Withers said in the meeting (Tuesday): we’re a good team and we know that,” UNC quarterback Bryn Renner said. “We’ve just got to start playing like it.”
The Tar Heels fell behind big in the first half to Miami before falling short in a rally and losing 30-24 two weeks ago, then gave up 35 third-quarter points and committed six turnovers in a 59-38 loss at Clemson.
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