While the Tar Heels' Everett Withers made comments that irked the Wolfpack prior to the game, the 13-0 victory was a nice reward for N.C. State. But the Wolfpack will need to provide more motivational outings this month in order to reach the postseason.
November got off to an encouraging start for the Wolfpack nonetheless.
The outcome against its chief rivals resulted in the first shutout for the Wolfpack since the 2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl against South Florida. N.C. State hadn't produced a shutout of an ACC opponent in a decade.
It's a good thing the defense was up to the task. The Wolfpack scored a total of 13 points across two games, yet it managed a split of those games.
Coach Tom O'Brien, who fired shots back at North Carolina when the conversation regarding academic issues surfaced a few days before the game, chose a quieter public response afterward.
"I'm already worried about Boston College (in the next game)," O'Brien said. "That's just the way I am. That's all superfluous stuff that you guys get a charge out of."
-- N.C. State has 57 players on its roster from the state of North Carolina. "Anytime you're in a rivalry like this, it's all about winning," LB Terrell Manning said after the Wolfpack defeated North Carolina for the fifth meeting in a row.
-- The Wolfpack scored in the first quarter for the first time in three games with a touchdown against North Carolina. That scoring play accounted for the first points in the first quarter for N.C. State in five ACC games this season.
KEEP AN EYE ON: DE Brian Slay -- He had a sack against North Carolina, but more important perhaps is he represents the defensive line that's finally starting to gain some traction this season. He could be one of the contributors to an enhanced defensive front.
LOOKING GOOD: WR Tobias Palmer appears capable of becoming the go-to receiver in the offense if he develops more consistency. He averaged close to 20 yards per reception on his five catches against North Carolina.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The Wolfpack could use a big-play element on offense. It has managed only one touchdown across the past two games. Part of that solution might be providing better protection for QB Mike Glennon, who has been forced to look for receivers on shorter routes as he's hurried to make decisions.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I guess we're like farmers and they're the educated people. But we won. So I guess the farmers are going to be happy on Monday going to work." -- LB Audie Cole on the verbal exchanges leading to the game when North Carolina was referred to as the state's flagship university with the implication that N.C. State is an understudy.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
-- QB Mike Glennon of N.C. State and QB Bryn Renner of North Carolina grew up 18 miles apart in Virginia and played in youth football and basketball against each other. Renner didn't last the entire game as he exited with a head injury. Odd as it might seem, but Renner ended up with a better passing percentage in the game, completing 9 of 17 throws, to Glennon's 16 of 33 through the air.
-- RB James Washington continues to give the Wolfpack a lift in the backfield despite carrying a heavier workload. He rushed for 110 yards on 27 carries against North Carolina. With three games at 100 yards or more this year, he's the first N.C. State player to hit the century mark for rushing that many times since Jamelle Eugene had three such outings in 2007.
-- CB David Amerson added to his national-leading interception total by picking off a pass against North Carolina. He has nine interceptions this season.
-- WR T.J. Graham will have to wait to build on his kickoff return yards because he was limited against North Carolina. He returned the opening kick-off for 21 yards, but the Tar Heels never kicked off again. That leaves Graham, a senior, 54 yards away from the ACC career record for kickoff return yardage.
-- DE Darryl Cato-Bishop snatched an interception against North Carolina. It was the first pick-off for the redshirt sophomore.
-- P Wil Baumann was busy with seven punts against North Carolina. More than half of those (four) ended up pinning the Tar Heels inside their own 10-yard line.