Triangle College Football Teams Try To Bounce Back
The UNC football team faces off this weekend against in-state rival East Carolina. North Carolina has won 12 of 15 all-time games against the Pirates from Greenville, but that won't dampen the pride that each squad will bring into the game at Chapel Hill. Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora says the game puts old friends and foes back on the same field.
"You've got guys on your team that played with guys on their team or played against guys on their team in high school and anytime you have that scenario it's going to be a little bit more intense," says Fedora.
ECU senior defensive back Damon Magazu was part of a 27-to-6 loss at UNC last season. He says his team will be up for this game.
"Anytime we play NC State or UNC, it's a rival because we want to see who's the best in the state and I think it would be be a great win for the program," Magazu said.
Kickoff at Kenan Stadium is set for 12:30 Saturday afternoon.
NC State's football team is looking to bounce back from a disappointing conference loss. The Wolfpack fell at home to Clemson 26-14 last week. The team has had a couple of extra days to prepare to step back on the field this Saturday when Central Michigan comes to Carter-Finley Stadium at 3:30 Saturday.
Head coach Dave Doeren says he hopes his players have learned from the Clemson loss because the Chippewas will be no push-over.
"We get to guage our progress after three performances and get ready for a Central Michigan team that last year upset Iowa at Iowa and won a bowl game and has some young players and some injuries like we do," Doeren said. "I know they'll come in her poised and ready to try to play with us and do what they can to get a victory."
Duke also takes a break from Atlantic Coast Conference football action this Saturday. The Blue Devils will celebrate Homecoming by welcoming Troy University to Wallace Wade Stadium for a 3 p.m. kickoff. The contest will be the first on the gridiron between the two schools.
Duke is coming off back-to-back losses against ACC foes Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Head Coach David Cutcliffe says much of this week of practice has been spent on not giving up big plays..
"Which was a nemesis a year ago," says Cutcliffe. "We started the year and did a nice job in the first two games playing in that regard and that manner. It wasn't horrible against Georgia Tech and then it got horrific against Pitt. We just can't fall back in that mode."
Cutcliffe says he has confidence his team can bounce back after two straight defeats.