Wolfpack, Tar Heels hoping for key wins in Saturday home contests | Sports

Wolfpack, Tar Heels hoping for key wins in Saturday home contests



N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson tries to escape Virginia Techs Lyndell Gibson during Saturdays loss..
  • File photo by Al Drago
  • N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson tries to escape Virginia Tech's Lyndell Gibson during Saturday's loss..
N.C. State will look to get headed back in the right direction after its first defeat of the season.

Meanwhile, UNC hopes to keep its momentum going.

Both the Wolfpack and the Tar Heels will be at home on Saturday in games that will pack the stadiums again and should make for a great ACC armchair doubleheader if you’re watching at home.

Duke is idle.

Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien, whose team is coming off a tough home-field loss to Virginia Tech, will face the Boston College team he used to coach at noon at Carter-Finley Stadium.

“We’re preparing very hard to get back on track and try and win a football game,” said O’Brien, whose team lost 52-20 to the Eagles last season. “Certainly Boston College will be a great challenge for us, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to see if we can bounce back this week.

“The start we got off to this year was encouraging to everyone, not only to the players and coaches but also to Wolfpack Nation. … This will be a good test for us this week to come off a very tough loss and find out if we’re grown up enough and mature enough to handle it. In the second half (against Virginia Tech) our defense looked like it did at times last year. We had trouble getting lined up and we had trouble tackling. We have to be much more precise against good football teams.”

The Tar Heels, riding a two-game winning streak, will host ancient conference rival Clemson with coach Butch Davis oddly facing off with the Tigers for the first time in his career.

“Clemson is probably the most talented and most complete football team we’ve played against this season,” Davis said. “They’re extraordinarily fast and athletic on defense, they’ve got an excellent defensive line, they play a lot of kids in the defensive line and there’s no drop off when they bring (substitutes) in. Their secondary is extremely good with Marcus Gilchrist and DeAndre McDaniel. They have seven different guys in the secondary with an interception.

“Offensively they have Kyle Parker, an experienced veteran quarterback who gives them a lot of leadership and playmaking ability. And they’ve got the ACC’s leading rusher in Andre Ellington. This will be the biggest challenge we’ve faced this entire season.”

N.C. State vs. Boston College
[Saturday, Noon, Carter-Finley Stadium]
BC leads 5-2.
NCSU 4-1, 1-1 ACC; BC 2-2, 0-1.
Audio: WRAL-FM 101.5, XM 190, Sirius 212.
Video: WRAL-5.
Coaches’ records — NCSU: Tom O’Brien 95-67, 20-22 at NCSU; BC: Frank Spaziani 10-7, all at BC.
Leading rushers — NCSU: Mustafa Greene 63-333, 4 TD; BC: Montel Harris 82-334, 1 TD.
Leading passers — NCSU: Russell Wilson 106-191-1474-4, 14 TD; BC: Dave Skinskie 39-72-529-4, 4 TD.
Leading receivers — NCSU: Owen Spencer 20-356, 0 TD; BC: Bobby Swigert 12-203, 2 TD.
Leading tacklers — NCSU: Nate Irving 40, 7 TFL, 3SK, 1 FF; BC: Luke Kuechly 51, 5 ½ TFL, ½ SK, 2 FR.
Favorite — NCSU by 9 1/2 (Vegas).

UNC vs. Clemson
[Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Kenan Stadium]
Clemson leads series 34-18-1.
UNC 2-2, 0-1 ACC; CU 2-2, 1-0.
Audio: WCHL 1360, WRDU-FM 106.1, XM 191, Sirius 213.
Video: WTVD-11.
Coaches’ records — UNC: Butch Davis 73-40, 22-20 at UNC; CU: Dabo Sweeney 15-10, all at Clemson.
Leading rushers — UNC: Johnny White 51-318, 2 TD; CU: Andre Ellington 54-380, 7 TD.
Leading passers — UNC: T.J. Yates 86-126-1006-1, 7 TD; CU: Kyle Parker 49-93- 652-4, 6 TD.
Leading receivers — UNC: Jheranie Boyd 10-283, 2 TD; CU: Dwayne Allen 11-180, 1 TD.
Leading tacklers — UNC: Quan Sturdivant 27, 4 ½ TFL, 1 SK, 1 FR; CU: DeAndre McDaniel 28, 2 TFL.
Favorite — UNC by 2 ½ (Vegas).

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