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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Season-ending rivalry day will set up three bowl games

Posted By on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 1:08 AM

It's Rivalry Week, Part II. All across the country, about half of the biggest college football teams are playing their most despised rivals. And with cooperation from the SEC, the ACC is right in on the act today. It was always the day for those big cross-conference rivalry games like South Carolina at Clemson and Georgia Tech at Georgia and Florida at Florida State. And now there's Kentucky at Louisville. And in the conference there was Virginia at Virginia Tech last night. It's the same deal in the Triangle, where N.C. State (6-5, 2-5 ACC) will visit UNC (6-5, 4.3)...

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Humongous rivalry games highlight grid weekend

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

It's Triangle Rivalry Week! Or at least it's Part One. And this time it's going to start a little bit early. There are only two games, as N.C. State gets a week off, coincidentally to celebrate its bowl eligibility, but they're both monsters. Tonight at 7:30, UNC (5-5, 3-3 ACC) will visit No. 25 Duke 8-2, 4-2) in a game to be shown on ESPN. Of course they don't like each other too much, and there's plenty at stake. If UNC beats either Duke tonight or the visiting Wolfpack on Nov. 29, the Tar Heels will be bowl eligible....

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winning seasons still possible with victories today

Posted By on Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 12:04 AM

The magic number remains six. That's the number of wins an FBS football team needs to play in a bowl game, and for any college football team to assure it won't have a losing regular-season record. So far only one Triangle team has made it, as Duke (8-1, 4-1 ACC) is assured a winning season and a bowl game and is still in the race for the ACC's Coastal Division championship. That race means every game is a "must" win for the Blue Devils, and actually every game left on the schedule is a must win for every Triangle...

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bowl spots, championships and winning seasons at stake

Posted By on Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 1:29 AM

Today is a very big day for N.C. State football. And it's very important for Duke, while it's still meaningful for N.C. Central. UNC has the day off before its uphill stretch run. The Wolfpack (5-4, 1-4 ACC) picked up its first conference win for second-year coach Dave Doeren last week in a squeaker over Syracuse. And if State can become the third Triangle team to beat No. 24 Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2) today at 12:30 (WRAL) at Carter-Finley Stadium, the Wolfpack is going bowling! NCCU (4-5, 3-2 MEAC), which is still looking for a winning season, plays...

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Triangle grid squads all road warriors this afternoon

Posted By on Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM

It's a rare fall Saturday when there's no Division I football game in the Triangle, but today is one of those days. And of the area's four teams, still no one can say how the seasons of three will be perceived at the end. And all four are underdogs. No. 24 Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) is going to have another happy finish barring a monumental collapse. But UNC (4-4, 2-2), N.C. State (4-4, 0-4) and N.C. Central (4-4, 3-1 MEAC) can all still go in either direction. The Blue Devils will travel to Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-2) in a key...

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday a pivotal day for area college football teams

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:05 AM

The Triangle's college football season is passing its halfway point, and exactly how the season is unfolding for the local Division I squads is coming into focus. Duke is having a second straight very good season and could play in some really interesting December games if it keeps winning. And N.C. Central, which has yet to lose to an historically black college this season, still has a shot at the MEAC championship. But N.C. State coach Dave Doeren is still looking for his first ACC win, and UNC's Larry Fedora needs to get things turned around quickly if the...

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Everyone's an underdog for the second straight week

Posted By on Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 2:03 AM

College football has been played in some form for the last 146 seasons, and no team from the Triangle has ever really played for a national championship. After last week's results this won't be the year. It's not that anyone can't still have a great season, but there are only about 20 schools than could have a loss and make the new FBS Final Four and none of them are in North Carolina. Three of the four local Division I teams are in action today, and two of them are at home. Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC), coming off a...

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Triangle FBS teams all try to stay perfect today

Posted By on Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 1:42 AM

Here we go into Week 4 of the area college football season, and all three of the local FBS teams are still unbeaten. If that continues all day today, one of them will have to beat one of the best teams in the country on the road. The show starts today at 12:30 (FOX Sports Carolinas) at Wallace Wade Stadium, where Duke (3-0) will try to complete a perfect non-conference portion of the season against Tulane (1-2). The other home game is at 6 p.m., as N.C. State (3-0) tries to complete its non-conference schedule unbeaten with a victory...

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Three home games in area college football today

Posted By on Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

It's Week 2 of the college football season, and so far there haven't been any major surprises for any of the local teams. Things went pretty much according to form last Saturday, except that N.C. State had plenty of trouble from Georgia Southern in a 24-23 nailbiter. UNC finally escaped Liberty in a 56-29 result, while Duke walloped Elon 52-13 and East Carolina crushed N.C. Central 52-7 in Jerry Mack's debut with the Eagles. This time all four local teams are favored, and three of them are at home. The Eagles host old CIAA rival Elizabeth City State at...

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Triangle college football opens with a bang today

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 1:35 AM

There won't be "great football weather" - that's a few weeks away. And if you want to see a really big game that could go either way, you may need to watch an out-of-state game on TV. But college football in the Triangle does open today, with a collection of the kinds of games in which the home team is a heavy if not prohibitive favorite. The three local ACC teams will write hefty checks and hope to win big, while N.C. Central will get its money on the road. N.C. State starts today's show at 12:30 p.m. (WRAL),...

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Duke dominates Indy Week's first All-Triangle football team

Posted By on Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Photo by Chris BairdJamison Crowder runs against Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.As far as I’m aware, nobody has ever put together an All-Triangle college football team. And if you’re one of the few people who has been disappointed in that, here’s a holiday present just for you. Here’s my First Annual (?) Indy Week All-Triangle team, made up of the best players who participated for the local Division I universities this season along with four special awards. Chick-Fil-A Bowl-bound Duke (10-3) places 12 players on the list, followed by seven from Belk Bowl-bound UNC (6-6). Four players come...

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Huge games galore for Triangle grid squads this afternoon

Posted By on Sat, Nov 23, 2013 at 3:38 AM

File photo by Chris BairdDuke is going for one of its best seasons in school history, while N.C. State is looking to avoid one of its worst.Any way you slice it this is a very, very big day for college football in the Triangle. Everybody has a game with more meaning to it than usual. The biggest of all is for Duke, which will win the ACC’s Coastal Division if it can finish 10-2 by beating rivals Wake Forest on the road and UNC in Chapel Hill next week. But UNC is playing for bowl qualification today. N.C. Central is...

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Solid special teams lead Eagles past Norfolk State

Posted By on Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Photo by Chris BairdAdrian Wilkins looks for running room as Zachary Giles (61) throws a block.O’KELLY-RIDDICK STADIUM/DURHAM N.C. Central hasn’t had the kind of football season it would have dreamed about, but the Eagles have a little chance to have it end on a very high note. That would have to start today, when NCCU (4-6, 2-4 MEAC) hosts Norfolk State (3-7, 3-3) in the home finale on a warm, sunny Senior Day. Win today and then upset uber arch-rival North Carolina on the road next week, and it’s a pretty good finish for interim coach Dwayne Foster. NCCU gets...

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Duke faces massive test today, others hope to tread water

Posted By on Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

File photo by Chris BairdDuke looks for a mild upset today that could help boost the Blue Devils into the Orange Bowl.We’re getting toward the end of the regular season in college football, and in the Triangle it’s a little like the world has been turned upside down. Over the past generation it has been common to see UNC and N.C. State zeroing in on bowl eligibility early and N.C. Central chasing a conference title and playoff berths while Duke is locking up yet another losing season. Not this time. Duke is the only team of the four that has...

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Duke, State will have a now-rare football meeting today

Posted By on Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

Indy file photo by Rob RoweACC expansion has kept the Blue Devils and Wolfpack from squaring off every season.Because of the quirky scheduling in what is now a 14-football-team ACC, the schools from Raleigh and Durham have not met on the gridiron in over four years. That silliness ends today. Duke (6-2, 2-2 ACC) which still has a shot at its best season since the ACC was formed, will host N.C. State (3-5, 0-5) today at 4 at Wallace Wade Stadium in a game to be shown on ESPNU. The matchup is one of two ACC games to be played...

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

UNC, State facing must-win showdown; Eagles are big underdogs

Posted By on Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 12:30 AM

File photo by Chris BairdEven if neither team is having a good year, when the Wolfpack and Tar Heels play emotions run very, very high.Both teams’ backs are definitely against the wall. And that’s rarely the case when North Carolina’s most anticipated college football game of the year kicks off. But when UNC (2-5, 1-3 ACC) visits N.C. State (3-4, 0-4) today at 12:30 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium in a game to be shown on WRAL, it’s even more of a must-win game than usual on both sides. The last time both teams came into this one with losing records...

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

UNC, NCCU really need wins; Duke and State face road toughies

Posted By on Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 2:03 AM

File photo by Chris BairdUNC's T.J. Thorpe runs in the open field against Miami.Talk about a “must-win” game. That’s going to be the situation for UNC this afternoon, when the Tar Heels (1-5, 0-3 ACC) host Boston College (3-3, 1-2) at 3:30 p.m. at Kenan Stadium (Fox Sports Carolinas). If UNC is the victim of an upset, the Tar Heels will have to win all five remaining games to get a sixth win and the bowl trip they missed out on last year because of the NCAA probation. All six remaining games are winnable, but if the Tar Heels are...

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tar Heels need to Win One Soon; NCCU, Duke in pivotal games again

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 1:50 AM

File photo by Chris BairdUNC TE Jack Tabb finds running room against Middle Tennessee.Most of the Triangle’s Division I football teams still have seasons that could take off in either direction. But for UNC, the time to start winning is now. Urgently. Now.The Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2 ACC) are going to have to win at least five of their last seven games to qualify for a bowl game, and it won’t be an easy task. That stretch run begins tonight at 7:45 at Kenan Stadium, when they host surprisingly good No. 10 Miami (5-0, 1-0) in an opportunity for a...

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday night game turns out to be bad news for NCCU

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Photo by Chris BairdAdrian Wilkins carries the ball while Tevin Richard (32) makes the tackle for the Bulldogs.O’KELLY-RIDDICK STADIUM/DURHAM Thursday night college football comes to the Bull City tonight.Visiting N.C. Central is South Carolina State, an old rival from the MEAC that’s now a new rival from the MEAC. SCSU is on a pretty good roll, winning four straight since a loss at Clemson. The Eagles won 40-10 last year in Indianapolis to end a seven-game losing streak in the series. But this one is all Bulldogs, period. SCSU dominates the game from start to finish, ruining NCCU’s appearance on...

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eagles, Blue Devils, Wolfpack all looking for momentum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 3:01 AM

File photo by Chris BairdNCCU and Duke will both look to improve on 3-2 records this week.A 3-2 record always presents some interesting possibilities for a college football team. The next game will determine whether or not a squad will have a winning record at the halfway point. And that’s the situation this weekend for the three of the Triangle’s four Division I college football teams who are taking the field in home games. The answers start coming tonight at 7:45, when N.C. Central (3-2, 1-0 MEAC) hosts S.C. State (4-2, 2-0) at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium in a game to be...

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Triangle football teams hit the road for Week 6 challenges

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 1:29 AM

File photo by Dean Strickland O.D.State’s Tony Creecy (26) follows blocking from teammate Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the Richmond game.All three UNC system schools in the Triangle have road football games Saturday, and they’re all big ones for different reasons. N.C. State (3-1, 0-1 ACC) and N.C. Central (2-2) both play their conference road openers as mild favorites, while UNC (1-3, 0-1) is an underdog in a game it desperately needs to win. Duke (3-2, 0-2 ACC) got the ship righted on Saturday against Troy, and gets a week off before facing a must-win home game against Navy. The Tar Heels...

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Heels, Devils, Pack all favored on must-win Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM

File photo by Chris BairdUNC QB Bryn Renner looks for an opening in the Middle Tennessee State game. It seems like every week is a pivotal one in college football, and this Saturday in the Triangle is certainly no exception. All three local ACC teams have home games — N.C. Central is idle until next week’s MEAC opener at Howard — and all three are favored in non-conference action. And it is fair to call all three of them “must” wins. The show starts at 12:30 p.m., where the most interesting matchup has UNC (1-2) hosting East Carolina (2-1) at...

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Triangle football squads a quartet of underdogs this week

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 1:30 AM

File photo by Dean Strickland O.D.State QB Pete Thomas looks for a receiver as Rob Crisp blocks.Just call it “Opportunity Week.” Two weeks ago all four Division I college football teams in the Triangle were favored to win on the same day, and thanks to a last-second field goal and some overtime heroics, all four of them did. Well, this time the scenario is exactly the opposite. The oddsmakers and experts are expecting everyone to lose, some in very convincing fashion. Three of the games are at home with one on the road. The show starts tonight at Carter-Finley Stadium,...

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Both Durham teams face tough gridiron tests Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 1:26 AM

File photo by Chris BairdBoth Duke and N.C. Central face pivotal games this weekend.Two of the four Triangle’s Division I football teams have the weekend off, but Saturday will be a big day for both teams from Durham. Duke (2-0) will take on decade-long nemesis Georgia Tech (1-0) at Wallace Wade Stadium at 3:30 p.m. in the ACC opener for both teams.And N.C. Central (1-1) will face a tough road challenge when the Eagles travel to face the brand-new program at UNC Charlotte (2-0) at noon. N.C. State (2-0) is idle until its Thursday night home game with Clemson, while...

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Everyone's a favorite on Saturday's Triangle college gridiron slate

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 2:55 AM

File photo by Chris BairdWith the Bull City Gridiron Classic in the rear-view mirror, Duke and NCCU face new challenges on Saturday.It’s a rare Saturday when all four Division I football teams in the Triangle are favored to win on the same day. But that’s going to be the case tomorrow. UNC, N.C. Central and N.C. State are all playing home games in which they will write guarantee checks to lesser opponents. Only Duke, which will travel to Memphis for what should be a fairer fight, seems to be facing a bit of a heavy lift. The slate opens at...

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