Noted & Quoted: UNC beats N.C. State 43-35
With a 43-35 win against North Carolina State on Saturday at Kenan Stadium, North Carolina snapped the Wolfpack’s five-year winning streak in the rivalry matchup.
After they lost to Duke last Saturday, the UNC players came home to a locker room covered in red and white décor. It was the coaching staff’s way of reminding the Tar Heels just how significant their next game would be.
When all was said and done, they looked as if the weight of the world was lifted from their shoulders.
“It’s a big monkey off our backs,” Renner said about snapping the streak. “You walk around Chapel Hill, and that’s all you kind of hear the last couple years.”
Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams concedes the N.C. State rivalry doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to his teammates. So for the extra motivation, he looked to his teammates.
“I hate everybody that doesn’t got on Carolina Blue, so it’s no different for me between Miami and N.C. State,” Williams said. “I told them, ‘I want to beat them for y’all.’”
During pregame warm-ups, the Tar Heels practiced on the field in navy jerseys and the white helmets they’ve worn in two other games this season.
When they went back into the locker room moments before kickoff, the Tar Heels had a surprise waiting for them.
Waiting for the UNC players were new silver chrome helmets with the signature foot on the sides, instead of the usual interlocking N.C.
“We walked in and were like, ‘Are we Oregon?’” safety Tre Boston said. “It was crazy having that feeling…It was like, there’s no way we can’t get this dub.”
Coach Larry Fedora said after the game he’s not sure he totally buys the concept of swag-inspired motivation. Still, he enjoyed watching his team act like “a bunch of kids at Christmas” when they found them.
“It’s really hard to imagine that something like that, a pretty uniform or pretty shoes has something to do with the game,” Fedora said. “But some of them feel better about it when they look pretty.”
Against UNC, N.C. State racked up 534 yards of total offense, and quarterback Mike Glennon completed 29 of 52 passes for 467 yards. In the first half, he was barely touched and scored four of his five touchdowns through the air.
At halftime, the Tar Heels had to go back to the drawing board. After the break, UNC sacked Glennon three times, and the pressure helped hold the Wolfpack to a single touchdown in the second half.
“He’s a great player, and they’ve got a great offensive line,” Williams said. “It took us some time to get adjusted to it, but once we were able to get adjusted to it, that’s when we were able to break down their protectors and get in the backfield to him.”
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