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The University of North Carolina (2-0) brought out the navy-blue pants in this nationwide TV game, and they looked sharp....well, at least after the first quarter. That first period saw the Heels go behind 3-0. After that, though, it was cruise-control.
This unranked Tar-Heel football team beating an unranked Rutgers (0-2) team in week 3 of the 2008 season isn't going to go down in the sport's record books as the greatest event of the modern-era. But, if you're an ACC football fan starved for an out of conference 'W', you might actually remember this game 8 or 10 years from now.
The conference was the butt of the college football world when UNC rolled into New Jersey to lay a beat-down on Rutgers, 44-12. This game was over early in the second-half, allowing ACC fans, for the first time in weeks, to exhail and relax, if just for a second, knowing they aren't as bad as the world wants them to be...No, one win doesn't rectify the other many losses, but it does show ACC mediums can play, and that the league isn't going to just say "yeah, we suck, the year is over."...
After Bruce Carter intercepted a third quarter pass and took it 66 yars home for a TD, UNC wanted to show that they, under 2nd year Coach Butch Davis, will be an item to be contended with.
And what is the deal with Rutgers? The Knights were the talk of the college football world a couple of years ago when they came out of no where to go 10-2. But now, after starting 0-2, you must wonder if New Jersey isn't patient enough to see what it really takes to be a year-in and year-out college football contender - sorry Broadway, but there are a lot of good teams 'down South'....UNC is no Florida or SoCal, but they quickly silenced this Rutgers home crowd. In 2002 West Virginia beat the Knights 40-0; this is the worst home loss since that day.
UNC is now 2-0, but still on the bubble as a national factor. Just a week ago, the Heels barely beat McNeese State, a team often used as the Rodney Dangerfield of D-1 teams. But with a proven winner as a head coach, and great talent on both sides of the ball, don't count UNC out as a major bowl contender in 2008.
This game is just a small win for the ACC, but it is a hell of a lot better than if Rutgers would have taken it the other way. Yeah, I'm an ACC fan, and I know our league has sucked. But our league will fight back, and UNC represented tonight!
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