"The atmosphere was different. You could tell it was a different place the way [Larry Fedora] was running the team. They showed a couple of his pregame speeches and just his on-the-field presence as well.
"You can definitely tell that there's a big difference."
Before heading to the sidelines for pregame warm-ups, Love, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound running back from Wake Forest (N.C.), had brief conversations with UNC assistant coaches Blake Anderson, Randy Jordan, and Ron West.
"They just talked to me about how good of a situation it is down there and how good of a place it is," Love said. "They all seemed really excited to see me. They just talked about football things – get ready for the game."
Love, who was accompanied by his father, stayed until the end of the third quarter. That provided him plenty of opportunity to see UNC's offense.
"I liked how they used T.J. Logan back there," Love said. "I remember him from high school in that state championship game – that was crazy.
"I liked the way that they used their running backs. They try to get them in space, follow the blocks, look for the holes, zone-read. I could picture myself in it."
Including Logan, UNC regularly played four running backs on Thursday.
"At my high school, we share between three ‘backs, so I'd have no problem with that if I went there," Love said. "[UNC] has stressed to me that the best players will play. I'm sure they wanted to keep giving it to the hot hand and give everyone a break, and I have no problem with that."
With the recent addition of Northwestern and Ohio State, Love is up to 16 offers. He hasn't had the opportunity to fully investigate all 16 opportunities and thus isn't ready to name favorite schools. However, UNC definitely has his attention.
"I've always liked the school – it's a real good place," Love said. "Coach Fedora is a real good man. Coach Jordan, Coach West, and Coach Anderson are all good people. I'm definitely interested. I like the program. It's a really good opportunity and a really good school."
Besides Thursday's game, Love has attended Georgia-Clemson in Death Valley, Georgia-South Carolina in Athens, Clemson-NC State game in Raleigh, and a couple of East Carolina games where his brother is a freshman receiver.
Love is still in the planning stages for future college games, but he has his eyes on returning to NC State for its bout with UNC on Nov. 2. He also would like to visit Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech in some capacity.