CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Coming off an 11-tackle game against Pittsburgh, true freshman Andre Smith has momentum heading into the Duke game.
The linebacker, who enrolled at UNC in January and has worked his way into the starting lineup, said he's excited knowing he's contributing to the Tar Heels' seven straight wins. And he noted he has found added motivation for Saturday from the rivalry.
"I'm just feeling so much hate," Smith said.
"I just feel so invigorated to just not like them. So I'm just ready to play, see the (Victory) Bell and just realize we have to defend that and they're trying to come take it. They're probably mad at the whole Miami thing but it's not going to happen."
Smith attributes his fast success to increased mental awareness and toughness.
"Gene Chizik challenged me to be a mental giant," Smith said. "He said I have all the physical tools but I wasn’t there mentally yet, so I really took that personally and I just honed in on the scheme."
"I made sure I carried everything from the meeting room to the practice field without any mistakes."
For more from Smith, watch the above video.