Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heels, Wolfpack games show it's a hard season to figure

North Carolina, which was considered a Top 15 team before the season, has been shorthanded all year and the ABC crowd has been having a field day with all the off-field troubles in Chapel Hill. But the guys left on the team have managed to win four games in a row and Saturday defeated the Cavaliers in Virginia (44-10) for the first time since 1981.

On the other hand, N.C. State, which was expected to be slightly above average, started off the season in dominating fashion and ran out to a 4-0 record and was ranked in the national polls. Expectations rose and thoughts ran wild. But the Pack has lost two of its last three games including an overtime loss (33-27) in Greenville against East Carolina.

East Carolina, with a new coach and few starters returning, was expected to have a losing season but the Pirates are now 4-2 and in the driver's seat in their conference. Historically, the Pirates may be an underdog when they play ACC teams but they are 4-4 against State over the two teams' last eight games.

State and Carolina, in opposite divisions of the ACC, are each 2-1 in league play. The Pack stands at 5-2 overall while the Heels are 4-2.

Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson has been unstoppable in the wins but human in the losses - he had three interceptions against East Carolina. Heels QB T.J. Yates was much maligned coming into the season but he's only thrown one interception all season and was 17 of 22 for 325 yards with three touchdowns against Virginia.

Nothing has been consistent this season so you can't say the two quarterbacks or the two teams are headed in opposite directions but it's interesting how many twists and turns there have been - and the season is only half over.

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