CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — NC State (7-4, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in No. 18 North Carolina (9-2, 6-1), Friday 3:30 p.m. EST (ABC)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: North Carolina to 6 1/2.
Series record: North Carolina leads 68-37-6.
WHAT’S AT Stake?
The Tar Heels have already clinched the league’s Coastal Division title and a trip to the ACC Championship Game to face No. 7 Clemson. The wolf pack already knows that another bowl game is coming up. So there is little to gain in the table. Then again, this is a long-standing rivalry between programs separated by about a 30-minute drive down Interstate 40.
The UNC’s offense against the defense of the NC state. The Tar Heels have been one of the best offenses in the nation behind star quarterback Drake Maye all season. Maye is third in the bowl subdivision ranks with 34 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. NC State has relied on a veteran-led defense all season to pressure quarterbacks and harden every yard, especially in the win over Wake Forest and its prolific quarterback Sam Hartman.
PLAYER TO SEE
NC State: RB Michael Allen. On an offense with injuries, the freshman runner could provide a spark. He has taken on a larger role in a tandem with Jordan Houston in the backfield and has rushed for 77 yards in a loss to Boston College while having a TD catch in the Louisville loss.
UNC: WR Josh Downs. Downs is seventh in the bowl subdivision ranks in yards gained per game (97.6) and third in TD catches (11), despite being two games fewer than the rest of these top ten animal plays.
NC State won last year’s meeting in a comeback that will surely live on in the lore of the rivalry. The Wolfpack trailed 30-21 with about two minutes left before scoring two touchdowns in 26 seconds to win by 34-30. … UNC had won its first two meetings since Mack Brown returned with the program for a second stint ahead of the 2019 season. … The Tar Heels went into the red zone just 2 to 5 against Georgia Tech last week. … NC State kicker Christopher Dunn has scored all 21 field goals and all 27 extra points he’s attempted this season. … Both of UNC’s losses this season have come at home.
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