Gameday: UNC vs. State

Wins were too few and far between for John Bunting to extend his tenure as North Carolina coach past this sixth and final season. However, they came even harder to his counterpart in the series with N.C. State. Bunting has defeated his rival Chuck Amato and the Wolfpack three out of five entering Saturday's contest which kicks off at 12:10 p.m. and will be televised by Raycom/LF.

"With the exception of one, the games have been very competitive," Bunting said. "For the most part, they've all gone down to the final quarter, and it's just been a matter of finding a way to win."

The Tar Heels (1-9, 0-6 ACC) will try to snap a seven game losing streak and win its third straight over State in the 96th meeting between the two schools. UNC leads the all-time series 62-27-6, including 10 wins in the last 13.

But as disastrous as each team's 2006 season has unfolded, the UNC-State game is in itself an entity unaffected by situational characteristics.

"Well, we're going over to Chapel Hill to play our rival," Amato said. "That's about all you need to say about this game, I guess."

The Wolfpack (3-7, 2-5) have dropped five in a row, with its most recent loss coming to Clemson last Saturday, 20-14.

History indicates that whoever best establishes its ground attack has the best chance at winning. In 13 of the last 14 meetings, the team that has rushed for the most yards has been victorious.

UNC offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti will be across the field from his brother Curt Cignetti, State's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

"I'm sure that adds to the rivalry that goes not only on the field, but with the coaches," Amato said. "That does add another dimension to it."

Stay tuned to IC for a full report from Kenan Stadium.


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