Duke vs. UNC: A football rivalry game for the Tar Heels?

Posted by Laura Keeley on November 25, 2013 

— CHAPEL HILL—I went to UNC’s Monday media availability searching for the answer to one question.

For the Tar Heels, is this a rivalry game?

"Ummm yeah," tight end Eric Ebron said, with plenty of hesitation. "I mean, Carolina and Duke is always a rivalry. It’s a rivalry within the Triangle, always."

From UNC quarterback Marquise Williams:

"To be honest, our rivalry game used to be N.C. State because we never could beat them. Now you could say it’s Duke. Not to say that N.C. State is not, but I think it’s both of them. I don’t know which one is most important."

And by far the player with the most affirmative answer, freshman wide receiver (and punt returner extraordinaire) Ryan Switzer.

"I think so, yeah," he said, with an upbeat tone. "Especially with what’s happened recently. The coaches talked to us yesterday about how the bell was in Chapel Hill for 20-plus, I don’t know, a lot of years, and with them coming last year and taking it from us and with everything that’s on the line in this game on Saturday, it’s definitely got the feel of a rivalry game for me."

And finally one question for UNC head coach Larry Fedora: would you have thought at the beginning of the season that Duke would be playing for a spot in the ACC Championship game?

"From my experience," he said, "From last year, yes, because they’re a good football team, and the way the league has gone, it’s come down to the wire, at least it did last year and that’s what it’s doing this year. I think anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday."

There you have it. Make of all that what you want.

If you missed it Sunday: Duke prepares for its “greatest challenge.”

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