Wolfpack seeks 6th straight win over UNC

October 26, 2012 

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Duke running back Josh Snead (9) breaks through a gap for a first down in the fourth quarter as UNC defenders converge on him. Duke beats UNC 33-30 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C. Saturday October 20, 2012.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com

Three to watch

1) N.C. State at North Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)

N.C. State (5-2) has never won six straight against UNC (5-3). The Tar Heels have been exceptional at home under first-year coach Larry Fedora, who has already embraced the rivalry.

2) Duke at No. 11 Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

A matchup of first-place division teams, just like everyone predicted in August. The Seminoles (7-1) have been strong at home, with a 55.2 scoring average in five games, compared to just 26.3 on the road. It will be difficult for Duke (6-2) to avoid a UNC hangover.

3) Brigham Young at Georgia Tech, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

The Cougars (4-4) have an average record but an excellent defense, especially against the run. The Yellow Jackets (3-4) showed some signs of fight in last week’s win against Boston College.

Number to know

1 ACC teams without a win over Florida State – Duke (0-17).

Observations

•  You can bet UNC has dissected the game tape of Florida State’s loss to N.C. State on Oct. 6. Florida State running back Chris Thompson gashed the Wolfpack defense for 141 yards. N.C. State stayed mostly in a nickel defense, which is why FSU, especially in the first half, kept hammering away with Thompson.

Unlike FSU, you can expect UNC to keep feeding running back Gio Bernard. Bernard has been unreal in ACC play, with an average of 194 rushing yards in three conference games.

•  N.C. State is 6-5 in games that kick off at noon or 12:30 p.m. since the start of the 2010 season, compared to an 8-2 record in night games (6 p.m. or later). Two of the six wins in "noon" games did come against UNC (in 2010 and ’11).

•  Maryland’s bad luck didn’t start or end with Brad Craddock’s missed field goal last week against N.C. State. The Terps had already lost quarterback C.J. Brown, arguably the only good thing to come of Randy Edsall’s first season, in the preseason with a knee injury and his replacement, freshman Perry Hills, followed suit Saturday.

Going back to 2004, Maryland has had one quarterback start every game of the season just once in nine seasons. Caleb Rowe will start against Boston College, because backup Devin Burns suffered a season-ending injury against N.C. State.

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