Jason Staples and Greg Barnes join host Tommy Ashley in breaking the tar heels against the Wolfpack at Kenan Stadium on Friday. North Carolina’s spot in Charlotte to face Clemson in the ACC championship game is secure, but a win over rivals NC State would put the team back on track after last week’s debacle against Georgia Tech.
If ever a rivalry went beyond the football field, NC State/North Carolina’s is a prime example. Friends, neighbors and even families broke up due to the perceived “cultural” differences in the two schools, making Friday’s matchup in North Carolina state significant. Barnes breaks down the story of the intense game as the show begins.
Staples explains why this game is important to both programs, and while there have been times in the past when coaches have downplayed the importance, Mack Brown and his Raleigh counterpart lean on this game as a pillar of what everyone needs to achieve tries. Current season aside, recruiting supremacy in the state cannot be achieved without winning this game. Staples believes this game is still about maintaining the program’s dominance at home.
North Carolina’s defensive struggles are highlighted, and Barnes and Staples both offer a glimpse of heels’ problems in the red zone on either side of the ball. Staples highlights what matters in the red area: “It’s attitude and physicality, and you have to have that in spades.” The crew agrees that the Tar Heels haven’t consistently played with either aspect this season. Ashley points out that Carolina has had issues with the physical side of the game in recent years, they didn’t have that issue against NC State.
As the show dives into the main discussion of how this game will play out, Staples and Barnes both point out important aspects of how losing Georgia Tech can either benefit Mack Brown’s team or provide NC State with the blueprint on how to beat the home team can.
Will Drake Maye and Josh Downs bounce back after underperforming last week? Staples believes they will have to play with defense effectiveness this season. Barnes is highlighting the national ranks of pack defense, and numbers-wise, this will be the toughest test for Maye and offense this season. As Barnes says, “The defense (of the state) is legitimate.”
The IC crew establishes the attack and defense keys to succeed against their rival and closes the show with their weekly predictions.
Get the Inside Carolina Podcast: Apple Podcasts (iTunes) | youtube | Google Podcasts | Spotify