NC State 31, UNC 27
As Kendric Burney cradled a tipped ball into his hands, and as he got big in a hurry while running down the sideline in my direction, I experienced the kind of nausea that is normally reserved for the morning after a night of heavy drinking. The Tar Heels had been outplayed, but they'd caught a break and they'd taken the lead. The last fifteen years told me that was it. The game was over. I didn't know how to even begin coming to terms with that. I wasn't sure I wanted to hang around for what remained; I thought about walking out of the stadium. And had Chuck Amato still been the Wolfpack's coach, I probably would have.
Recent series history reminded me that we were doomed, but the previous three weeks reminded me that things had changed for the better, that we were capable of making the clutch plays necessary to win close games, that we were in the hands of a coaching staff that could, like, coach.
“Some people, they lean on their old ways at times,” Eugene said. “Some people just can’t give up their full trust in somebody and their full belief in somebody. I think that’s what was going on at the beginning. You didn’t really know exactly what to expect or how things were going to go. As the season went on, and as the days and weeks and months went on, we started to see how the coaches really did care, how they really did want to win as bad if not more than us. So, we started picking it up and trusting in them fully. Now, things look a little better.”
What a difference a month (or a year) makes.
-- The Pack had a surprisingly successful day running the football:
"They did a good job of scouting us," said Hilee Taylor. "We have a front seven that is aggressive and the stretch play is a finesse way of running and stretching until you find a hole. Their running back was a good running back and we tried to do too much. I'm pretty sure when we watch film we'll see we got out of our gaps. The play takes so long to develop that you have a tendency to sneak your eyes in the backfield and then you're out of position."
On our second possession of the game, Curtis Underwood ran through a large hole in the right side of Carolina's defense for a 12-yard gain. After the play, Durell Mapp got in defensive tackle Marvin Austin's face, and the two exchanged a few shoves. After watching the replay a few times, it appears that Austin mistakenly thought that he and the other DT were supposed to be stunting. As the Heels come off the ball, Austin changes direction to his left while the other defensive linemen go right. This results in both defensive tackles attacking the same gap, which allows Austin to burst through the line unmolested, but by this point he is out of the play. Underwood ran to the space vacated by Austin and had himself a nice gain.
-- I sat in the student section yesterday--and went in through the student entrance--and had a surprisingly painless experience. There was a line to get in, as there always is, but it moved pretty quickly, and I didn't notice any difference between the way I was treated by security here and the way I'd been treated at the non-student gates in previous weeks.
-- Almost as enjoyable as beating Carolina yesterday was browsing Eagle Insider. On "Will TOB pull another WTF????" (let's hear it for excessive punctuation), packcoach responds to a jab:
"If you're such a great fan, why weren't you at Carter-Finley today? Scared of getting shot outside the stadium?"
Maybe because the game was a sellout? You see, some schools have things called "sellouts". Thats when they have fans that show up to watch the games.
Mere hours later, Boston College allowed a bad Maryland offense to rack up 472 yards as Terps QB Chris Turner quadrupled his season TD pass total. WTF indeed, you ass hats.