An open date last Saturday gave Kendric Burney time to think about North Carolina's season, about what was accomplished in the first six games and what was left to do. Burney, a junior cornerback, came to one conclusion, built on tonight's home game against Florida State. "This is definitely a game that could flip our season totally around to get back on the right track to contend, and to get back into any kind of races that we want to get into," Burney said. It will be the first Thursday night home game in UNC history, and both teams had open dates last week and extra time to prepare. UNC is 4-2 (0-2 ACC). FSU is 2-4 (0-3 ACC) and fighting through its worst season since Bobby Bowden's first year as coach, 1976. The programs last met in 2004, and FSU won to run its series record to 14-1-1.
Hoping for Revival: Heels will try to get season back on track tonight
The Winston-Salem Journal
Kendric Burney was just 11 years old back on September 22, 2001 when North Carolina stunned a nationally No. 5-ranked Florida State team, 41-9.
But Burney, now a junior cornerback for the Tar Heels, has heard about UNC's first and only win to date over the Seminoles. He's been told about the scene on the field at Kenan Stadium afterwards as joyous fans stormed the field and battled one of the goal posts for an hour before bringing it to the ground.
"We need one of those moments again,'' Burney said.
Stakes high for tonight's UNC-FSU game
The Fayetteville Observer
Bobby Bowden is trying to stay positive after Florida State's first 0-3 start in the ACC.
Coming off a third consecutive loss, to Georgia Tech on Oct. 10, the 79-year-old Seminoles coach used a bye week to refocus his team for tonight's national showcase against North Carolina (8 p.m., ESPN).
Big opportunity for UNC
The News and Observer
Thousands of UNC-Chapel Hill employees will be forced to leave work two hours early today, and some are grumbling about the early quitting time.
The Tar Heels will play their first Thursday night football game at home this evening, taking on Florida State University for a college match-up that will be aired at 8p.m. on ESPN.
UNC staff will flee football traffic
The News and Observer
The North Carolina football team returns to action after a bye week, hosting Florida State for the first-ever Thursday night game at Kenan Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN).
Both UNC (4-2, 0-2 ACC) and FSU (2-4, 0-3) will be searching for their first conference victory in the first meeting between the teams since 2004.
UNC hosts Seminoles tonight
The Durham Herald-Sun
Earlier in the week, North Carolina coach Butch Davis likened Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
While Ponder doesn't have the Super Bowl rings or MVP trophies that Favre has, Davis said the Seminoles' junior has the accuracy and mobility to make plays on the run, much like the NFL star.
And when the Seminoles visit the Tar Heels tonight for the first-ever Thursday night game in Chapel Hill (8 p.m., ESPN), the biggest task for UNC's defense will be shutting down the ACC's top passer.
Time to Ponder
The Durham Herald-Sun
After wrapping up their final practice for Thursday night's nationally televised game at North Carolina, Florida State's players huddled on the middle of three practice fields Tuesday and listened to messages from their assistant coaches.
Among other topics, they undoubtedly heard about UNC's vaunted defense and the need for precise execution by all 11 players on offense. But the more important message had nothing to do with schemes or assignments and everything to do with mental fortitude.
As FSU enters the second half of the season with a surprisingly dismal 2-4 record, the Seminoles are in danger of finishing below .500 for the first time in more than 30 years.
North Carolina Tar Heels loom as another tough test for Florida State Seminoles
The Miami Herald
FSU (2-4, 0-3 ACC) travels to North Carolina (4-2, 0-2) tonight in a game that matches one of the nation's top passing teams against one of the nation's best defenses.
"We can show up and shock the world and make a statement because it's a Thursday night game and it's the only game on," FSU quarterback Christian Ponder said. "So we have an opportunity but a heck of a challenge."
Seminoles Looking to 'Shock the World'
The Lakeland Ledger
Florida State's ACC-best offense might have finally met its match.
The Seminoles lead the conference in yards per game and, despite losing, racked up 539 yards and 44 points against Georgia Tech. Quarterback Christian Ponder is also among the nation's leaders in total offense.
But Florida State has not yet faced a defense like North Carolina's - third in the country, first in the ACC and No. 1 with a bullet on offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher's viewing list.
"I'm looking at North Carolina's front," Fisher said. "I'm trying to get a first down."
North Carolina's defense will be FSU's biggest problem
The Palm Beach Post