Nov 30, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown looks on during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 14 North Carolina bids to rebound vs. No. 23 NC State

An annual matchup between North Carolina State and North Carolina always carries certain intrigue for the rivals.

This one, however, holds some extra zing.

For the first time in 27 years, both teams own spots in the national rankings when they meet. The clash comes Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“I think we’ve been overrated,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “I think they’ve been underrated.”

The No. 14 Tar Heels (3-1 overall, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) are coming off a 31-28 setback at Florida State, and they went tumbling nine spots in the polls following the loss.

No. 23 North Carolina State (4-1, 4-1) has won three games in a row. It will be only the third time ever that both teams are rated at the time they meet.

“I know how big this game is to NC State, former players, boosters, alums, all those things,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. “So I take a lot of pride in being able to deliver that to our fan base.”

North Carolina’s first setback of the season could serve as a wake-up call. Brown said there are important lessons coming from the result.

“We walked in a little cool and then got hit right in the mouth and had to stop that surge and then respond back in the second half,” Brown said. “That’s something that we’ve got to do. We’ve got to learn how to handle that.”

NC State is in another transition.

Quarterback Devin Leary, who suffered a broken leg in the third quarter of the Wolfpack’s 31-20 win over Duke, could miss the rest of the season following surgery. Bailey Hockman, who started the first two games of the season, is back in a starting role.

Hockman had mixed results last month in his starts, which came about after Leary missed considerable preseason practice time because of quarantine related to coronavirus contact tracing. Hockman sizzled in the beginning of the opening victory against Wake Forest, then fizzled fast the next week at Virginia Tech. He has thrown for three interceptions and two touchdowns this season.

“He needs to trust the protection when it’s there and give his receivers time to get open,” Doeren said. “If things break down, he needs to use his feet, because he can run.”

The Tar Heels, who allowed two Florida State players to rush for more than 100 yards, will have to be aware of NC State running backs Ricky Person Jr. and Zonovan Knight. Both players average more than 90 all-purpose yards per game.

North Carolina didn’t surrender a second-half point in the Florida State game. Cornerback Storm Duck will remain out for this week’s game with an injury.

NC State linebacker Payton Wilson, who’s coming off a 19-tackle, two-interception outing against Duke, initially committed to North Carolina before changing his mind. He’ll play for the first time at Kenan Stadium, which is in his home county.

“He’s going to continue to make more and more plays,” Doeren said. “One thing about Payton is he plays as hard as he can play.”

NC State had won three straight games in the series until North Carolina’s 41-10 romp last year. Still, the Wolfpack have prevailed in their past three trips to Chapel Hill.

The past six seasons, these teams met on the final weekend of the regular season, but the revised 2020 schedules put this collision earlier.

This is NC State’s fourth road assignment across a five-game stretch, but its next three contests are at home in Raleigh.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -9.5 -110

Illinois +9.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii

UCLA

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UCONN

Fresno State

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UTEP

New Mexico State

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple

Rutgers

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State

UCF

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF

NC State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina

Appalachian State

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2)

Minnesota

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green

Tennessee

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -6 -110

Virginia Tech +6 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion

Wake Forest

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke

Charlotte

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +7.5 -110

Northwestern (10) -7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe

Kentucky

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army

Georgia State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford

Kansas State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6)

Tulane

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17 -110

Michigan -17 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State

Oregon

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice

Arkansas

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -19 -110

Miami-FL (22) +19 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH

Cincinnati (8)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall

Navy

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +6.5 -110

Iowa (16) -6.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia

Maryland

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Portland State

Hawaii

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan

Missouri

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech

Mississippi State

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts

Pittsburgh

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15)

Texas (19)

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24)

USC (21)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron

Auburn

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor

Texas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse

Ohio

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech

Houston

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +6 -110

Purdue -6 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -110

Clemson (3) -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic

Florida (13)

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU

Georgia Tech

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7.5 -110

Illinois -7.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State

Texas A&M (4)

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss

South Alabama

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -3.5 -115

UCLA +3.5 -115

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada

California

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11)

Arizona

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State

San Diego State

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State

Washington State

@