Today will be sort of an odd day in Triangle Division I college football, as
only half the teams play and just one is at home.
N.C. Central (3-4, 2-1 MEAC) will take on Savannah State (0-7, 0-4) at 2 p.m. at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium, trying to get on track for a winning season and stay in the race for the MEAC title.
And UNC (3-4, 1-2 ACC) will try to give its fans something to smile about in the middle of the program's ongoing academic scandals, as the Tar Heels visit ancient rival Virginia (4-3, 2-1) in the 119th edition of "The South's Oldest Rivalry at 12:30 (WRAL) at Scott Stadium."
Duke (6-1, 2-1) earned a bowl berth for the earliest time in school history and will celebrate with a week off, while N.C. State (4-4, 0-4) will lick its wounds and try to figure out how to win some ACC games in November.
NCCU vs. Savannah State
Jerry Mack's Eagles stumbled for the first time against an HBCU this season when they fell to visiting Morgan State last weekend, and will face the MEAC's weakest team this time.
The Eagles beat the Tigers 24-10 last season in Savannah.
"We just didn't come to play four quarters," Coach Mack said of the Morgan State game. "95 percent isn't going to do it. We need to make improvements on offense, defense and special teams to move forward. Now we're focused on Savannah State. We have to focus on the red zone offense and defense and finishing games."
NCCU leads the series 6-2-1. The Dunkel Index favors the Eagles by 20 1/2.
UNC at Virginia
UNC is coming off an emotional 48-43 comeback win over Georgia Tech last week, but really needs to pull the upset at Virginia today.
The Tar Heels have won five straight in the series including last season's 45-14 romp in Chapel Hill.
"We're looking forward to going up to Charlottesville," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "Mike (London) has got his team playing really well. Defensively, they're playing hard. They're running to the ball. And playing very, very solid. Offensively, they're moving the ball with either quarterback.
So we're looking forward to the game. It should be a very hard-fought football game."
UNC leads the series 60-54-4. The Tar Heels are seven-point underdogs.
Last week's three stars
1. Marquise Williams, QB, UNC. He passed for four TDs and rushed for another, producing 463 yards total offense against Georgia Tech.
2. Ryan Switzer, WR, UNC. He had a career-high nine catches for a career-high 136 yards in the win over the Yellow Jackets.
3. Matt Skura, OL, Duke. He opened holes for 155 yards rushing in 30 attempts as the Blue Devils did not allow a sack in a 20-13 win over Virginia.