These visitors are in no mood to let them get one.
East Carolina (2-1) comes in for the sun-splashed in-state rivalry game, in a series which has been contested every once in a while since 1972. This is the seventh meeting since 1981.
The Tar Heels (1-2), who lead the series 11-2-1 (the 2009 UNC win was vacated), have beaten only Middle Tennessee State of CUSA this season with losses at South Carolina and Georgia Tech.
It turns out to be a very bad day for the Tar Heels and the best in Ruffin McNeill’s tenure as ECU head coach, as the Pirates run a ridiculous 101 plays in a 55-31 rout.
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.
Then at 3 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke (2-2) will take on Troy (2-2) of the Sun Belt Conference in the teams’ first meeting.
And at 3:30 at Carter-Finley Stadium, N.C. State (2-1) will host Central Michigan (1-3) of the MAC.
The Blue Devils (4-4-2, 1-2-1 ACC) have been up-and-down this season and are currently on a three-game winless streak. But are they really capable of “beating anybody in the country?”
We find out tonight as they take on ACC leader Virginia (9-0, 3-0) which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and is looking for its first 10-game win streak since 1990. Virginia has one local player in freshman midfielder Alexis Shaffer, a veteran of CASL Chelsea who was the MVP of the state 4A title match for Green Hope last year. The Cavaliers have allowed five goals all season.
Ali Kershner is in goal for the Blue Devils and Morgan Stearns for Virginia.
Duke takes a two-goal lead at halftime, but the Cavaliers close the gap in the first five minutes of the second and get the winner with 10 minutes left to make it 3-2 and break the Blue Devils’ hearts.
And regardless of the outcome on a very cloudy day, the opponent is making a little history in Durham for the second time.
Pittsburgh (1-1, 0-1 ACC), which last played the Blue Devils in 1976, is making its first football visit to the Triangle as a member of the ACC. Duke is 2-1 and 0-1.
And it was the Panthers who served as the opponents for the very first game at then-Duke Outdoor Stadium, winning 52-7 on Oct. 5, 1929.
Duke gets even more points than that winning score today and still comes up on the short end, fighting back from a couple of huge deficits before falling short 58-55. It’s the second highest score in ACC history after Georgia Tech’s 68-50 win at UNC last season.
The opponent is No. 3 Clemson, the favorite in the ACC and of course one of a handful of teams thought to have a chance to play for the national championship.
ESPN is in the house for the teams' ACC opener, which is the annual Textile Bowl.
Doeren, who was head coach at Northern Illinois for two seasons before becoming the leader of the Pack, has never
coached a home loss.
And the Wolfpack has been very, very successful in this type of home game over the past two seasons. Last year NCSU shocked then No. 3 Florida State 17-16, and two seasons ago walloped No. 7 Clemson 37-13.
It’s one of those perfect nights for outdoor sports.
And the Wolfpack fights gamely, but the Tigers finish with 415 yards total offense and don’t commit a turnover in a 26-14 win.
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, where N.C. State (2-0) hopes to continue its perfect start to the Dave Doeren era with an upset of No. 3-ranked ACC favorite Clemson in a 7:30 game on ESPN.
The action continues on Saturday at noon in Atlanta, with UNC (1-1) visiting Georgia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC) in the Tar Heels’ ACC opener on ESPN. Then at 12:30 on WRAL, Duke (2-1, 0-1) will entertain Pittsburgh (1-1, 0-1) at Wallace Wade Stadium in the Panthers’ first visit to the Triangle as members of the ACC.
And at 2 p.m. at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium, N.C. Central (2-1) will conclude the non-MEAC portion of its schedule against CAA power Towson (3-0), which already has a road romp at Connecticut and is No. 3 in the FCS national rankings.