Bunting Remains Confident Despite 1-2 Start

North Carolina coach John Bunting enjoys playing at Clemson because of the passion Tiger fans exude. However, in his eyes, it's only a nice place to visit and not one where he wishes to spend any length of time.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said earlier this week. "It's a neat place to play. But I wouldn't want to live there."

Over the last five years, North Carolina hasn't performed well on the road, be it in the ACC or otherwise. But Bunting is confident his Tar Heels can rectify that this weekend.

Still, that could be a tall order considering North Carolina hasn't played well at home this season, either.

"I really believe we can get very good before this year is over," Bunting said. "But I can't sit here and bemoan the fact that I was really looking forward to three home games and we're 1-2. In my mind, clearly, we could be 3-0. I want to keep getting better, I've got to look forward and we'll do that."

What gives Bunting such optimism is how North Carolina played against Clemson in 2001 and again in 2003.

"We played in the most perfect game down there in ‘01 that I've ever been involved in as a player and a coach," he said. "They played extremely well and it was fun to watch. And then we went down there again in ‘03 and it went down to the last play of the game. … It was a very exciting game and I anticipate the same."

That being said, what makes this trip into Death Valley different is the caliber of team the Tar Heels are facing.

Clemson is a contender for the ACC Championship, while North Carolina will likely struggle just to reach .500.

In addition, this is a Tar Heels team that just nearly lost to I-AA Furman … at home.

Nonetheless, Bunting believes his team has a real shot at winning. And in order to prepare his team for the intense noise level expected, he's making it difficult for the players to hear in practice.

"If you live within 10 miles of Chapel Hill, you'll be hearing some crowd noise the next couple of days," he said. "They do a great job down there. They like their football."

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