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The Daily Tar Heel

Heels won’t fuel ?re vs. State

Greg Little (8) and the Tar Heels didn’t get much offensive production last season when UNC fell to the Wolfpack 41-10. DTH ile
Greg Little (8) and the Tar Heels didn’t get much offensive production last season when UNC fell to the Wolfpack 41-10. DTH ile

Last year after its lopsided 41-10 victory against North Carolina, N.C. State didn’t hold back when taking a couple shots at UNC’s program.

“What it speaks to is, we’re the best football program in the state,” Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien said following that game. “Without question.”

But the fun at the expense of its rival didn’t stop there.

The school also printed up T-shirts declaring itself “State Champions” in football because it had beaten Wake Forest, Duke and East Carolina in addition to the Tar Heels.

Given a chance to respond leading into this week’s game, safety Deunta Williams resisted firing back at this year’s struggling Wolfpack squad (4-7, 1-6 ACC) — at least for now.

“To be honest with you, we think about it. But at the same time, that’s last year,” Williams said.

“I’m not into too much trash talk — until I get on the field.”

UNC coach Butch Davis didn’t bite either when baited with O’Brien’s comments at his weekly press conference Monday.

“Those kinds of things are going to be resolved every single season,” Davis said. “Every season is an entity unto itself.”

Riding a four-game winning streak and on the cusp of a nine-win regular season, the Tar Heels (8-3, 4-3) weren’t about to give the Wolfpack any bulletin board material at the press conference.

UNC is too busy devising a scheme to slow down N.C. State’s Russell Wilson and fine-tuning its mistakes going into its regular-season finale.

Wilson threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns in the two schools’ meeting in 2008, and Davis said he was perhaps the most dynamic player in the ACC other than Clemson’s C.J. Spiller.

“There’s two parts to this equation for this week,” Davis said. “We have to prepare for N.C. State and the challenges they’re going to bring, but we also have to take care of ourselves. We have to play much better.”

Surprisingly, one of the areas Davis singled out for improvement was UNC’s defense.

Despite the defense forcing six turnovers against Boston College and scoring on two of those, Davis wasn’t happy at the way the Tar Heels defended the run.

Eagles running back Montel Harris rumbled his way to 132 yards on the ground, finding plenty of space Saturday against a UNC defense rated first in the conference against the run.

Davis also wasn’t pleased with the way his team handled its 21-0 lead. He gave Boston College credit for fighting its way back in the game, but still wants consistency from the offensive unit.

Quarterback T.J. Yates isn’t content this week, either. The junior threw three interceptions against Boston College, and he is 0-2 as a starter against N.C. State.

“I definitely need to get a win under my belt against them,” Yates said. “It kind of irks me every time we play against them and come out with a loss.”

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