Blog: North Carolina takes 27-19 win at NC State
Posted November 1, 2013
Updated November 2, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's dual-quarterback attack led the Heels to a 27-19 win over NC State at Carter-Finley Saturday.
11:19 fourth quarter; UNC 27, NCSU 19: Minutes after missing a field goal attempt, North Carolina finds themselves back in Wolfpack territory. This time T.J. Logan rushes for 14-yards and a touchdown but the extra-point is no good making it 27-19 Heels.
4:50 third quarter; UNC 21, NCSU 19: NC State settles for another field goal, a 28-yarder from Nilkas Sade, to bring the score to 21-19 Heels.
9:43 second quarter; UNC 21, NCSU 16: North Carolina goes for the option pass, Ryan Switzer to Quinshad Davis for a 59-yard pass and run touchdown.
10:31 second quarter; NCSU 16, UNC 14: Another field goal by NC State's Niklas Sade, this time a 44-yarder, puts the Pack ahead of North Carolina 16-14.
14:48 second quarter; UNC 14, NCSU 13: A 38-yard field goal by Niklas Sade cuts the Tar Heel lead to one at the beginning of the second quarter.
1:59 first quarter; UNC 14, NCSU 10: NC State attempted a fake punt but failed, turning the ball over on their own 29-yard line. North Carolina put Bryn Renner back in the game and he leads the Heels to the endzone on a pass to Eric Ebron, a handoff to Khris Francis and caps it with a one-yard touchdown run. UNC leads NC State 14-10.
4:41 first quarter; NCSU 10, UNC 7: NC State's DJ Green is ejected for a targeting call on Marquise Williams. On the next play, Williams connects with Quinshad Davis for a touchdown.
7:12 first quarter; NCSU 10, UNC 0: UNC's defense holds NC State in the red zone and forces the Wolfpack to attempt a field goal from 20 yards. Make it 10-0 with 7:12 left in the first quarter.
12:47 first quarter; NCSU 7, UNC 0: NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell scrambles and runs right side for a 6-yard touchdown. The extra-point is good and NC State takes an early 7-0 lead.
14:20 first quarter: On the Tar Heel's first drive Bryn Renner is picked by Juston Burris and NC State gets the ball on Carolina's 24-yard line.
Pregame: NC State defers and North Carolina elects to receive to start the game. The Wolfpack are wearing white pants, red tops and a new white helmet with Tuffy on the side.
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora got a memorable introduction to the long rivalry with North Carolina State when the Tar Heels ended a five-game skid on a last-second touchdown.
Now first-year Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren is making his debut in the most important game to his school's fan base.
The teams meet for the 103rd time Saturday in Raleigh (12:30 p.m., WRAL-TV), where N.C. State (3-4, 0-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) hasn't lost to the Tar Heels (2-5, 1-3) in eight years. And much like Fedora a year earlier, Doeren didn't need long to learn about the rivalry after arriving here from Northern Illinois.
"Everyone tells you good luck, and three or four people will tell you to beat Carolina," Doeren said. "Every place I've coached there were games that people would tell me were their favorite games, but this is obviously the one that stands out."
N.C. State has won the past three meetings in Carter-Finley Stadium, including a 13-0 win here two years ago. That was part of the Wolfpack's five-game winning streak before the Tar Heels finally broke through last year in a wild game decided on Gio Bernard's 74-yard punt return with 13 seconds left for a 43-35 win, a play that will live on in the rivalry's history.
Cornerback Juston Burris, who was on the coverage team for Bernard's return, said watching the play still makes him "cringe."
"I've definitely seen it over and over again, on Twitter and things like that, people coming up and showing it to me," Burris said. "I definitely don't want to see that happen again."
N.C. State has lost three straight overall and is coming off a 49-17 loss at No. 3 Florida State.
The Tar Heels ended a four-game skid with a 34-10 win against Boston College last week. And despite Bernard's return, Fedora is still hearing from UNC fans about the importance of beating the Wolfpack.
"Probably not as much as I heard before about what needed to be done," Fedora said. "I heard a lot more before, I can assure you."
Here are five things to watch in Saturday's North Carolina-N.C. State matchup:
PASS PROTECTION: Two years ago, N.C. State roughed up UNC quarterback Bryn Renner and knocked him from the game while holding the Tar Heels to 165 total yards. UNC's offensive line, which has battled inconsistency this year after losing three starters to the NFL draft, has to give Renner time to throw or at least open running lanes to buy him some time.
NO MORE RUST?: N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell returned last week from a five-game absence with a foot injury. He said he's more comfortable now that he's played again, but he's still only played five quarters this year. For UNC's coaches, that's made it difficult to know exactly what to expect from N.C. State's offense with Mitchell in control.
QB ROTATION: North Carolina has gotten a spark by rotating mobile sophomore Marquise Williams at quarterback to give the defense a different look behind Renner. The Tar Heels racked up 500 yards against Miami and scored 34 points — their best total in a month — in the BC win. Williams' ability to throw has prevented defenses from keying on the run when he enters the game.
THORNTON'S RUNS: N.C. State halfback Shadrach Thornton is taking control of the Wolfpack's ground game. He had 23 carries for a career-best 173 yards and two touchdowns in last week's loss to the Seminoles. Thornton was suspended for the opener and played special teams in Week 2, but has worked his way back into a leading role and could have a big day against UNC's shaky defense.
EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS: It's sure to be rowdy in Carter-Finley Stadium and both teams will have to keep their composure. The coaches are looking for any edge to focus their players' emotions, too. UNC's coaches hung red ribbons and signs bearing the Wolfpack's athletics slogan "This is our state" in their locker room. N.C. State coaches made sure to point out dismissive comments from UNC tight end Eric Ebron on Twitter this week to their players, who have said they'll do their talking on the field.
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