The Tar Heels and Wolfpack faced each other for the 112th time Friday night, in a contest that lived up to all of the expectations one would have of a cross-town rivalry. NC State ultimately defeated UNC 30-27 in double overtime after a failed 35-yard FG attempt by the Tar Heels sailed left, but it was the digs taken after the clock expired that will fuel this rivalry for years to come.
In the first act of defiance, as Tar Heels football players retreated to their locker room after the loss, NC State players planted the Wolfpack flag midfield on the UNC logo.
Planting the flag midfield wasn’t the only dig NC State players took at the Tar Heels. Quarterback Ben Finely made a point of expressing how happy he is to get a degree from NC State.
“I wanted to graduate from NC State,” Finely said during the post game press conference. “That’s huge. I’m graduating in December. That’s going to be real important for me to get my degree from here. I never tried to get into UNC, but according to Drake I couldn’t have.”
Clearly the Wolfpack haven’t forgotten about the bulletin board material Tar Heel quarterback Drake Maye provided back in September.
Safety Tanner Ingle wouldn’t even refer UNC by name, choosing to use the phrase “blue people” in his post game remarks.
It’s always good to come over here and beat the blue people. We don’t like them. At all.
But even with all that, it was NC State head coach Dave Doeren’s reported paraphrased comments that aired during the game that sums up the distain these two teams have for one another and why this win meant so much to the Wolfpack.
“They don’t like us. We hate them. We’re blue collar, they’re elitist. Their coaches talk down to us, they talk behind our backs in recruiting, and negatively about our coaching staff.”
This was personal, but aren’t rivalries better when it is.
- NC State moves to 2-1 in overtime games against the Tar Heels in Friday’s 30-27 double overtime victory. The Wolfpack won the most recent overtime matchup entering Friday in a 34-28 win in Chapel Hill in 2018. Friday’s matchup was also the first game to go to more than one overtime in the series history and is NC State’s first double overtime matchup since a 27-21 victory over No. 9 Clemson in 2021.
- The Wolfpack’s 14 straight games without allowing more than 30 points also ranks first in the nation (Georgia can tie that streak at 14 on Saturday against Georgia Tech). Since 2010, only Clemson (4x) and Miami (2016-17) have longer streaks.
- In his first-career start, Ben Finley completed 27-of-40 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Finley connected with 10 different receivers in the victory.
- NC State finishes the regular season with a perfect 3-0 record against in-state opponents, knocking off No. 20 Wake Forest at home while also earning road victories at East Carolina and No. 18 North Carolina.
- Even with two overtime periods, NC State’s defense held North Carolina to a season-low 351 total yards of offense. The Tar Heels averaged just 3.9 yards per play.
- Redshirt freshman Drake Maye threw for 233 yards Friday to moves past Mitch
Trubisky into first place on the UNC single season yards passing list with 3,847. Trubisky threw for 3,748 in 2016.
- With this 49 passing attempts tonight, Maybe set the UNC freshman record for most pass attempts in a season with 440. The previous record was 422 held by Sam Howell.