North Carolina–NC State football rivalry

North Carolina–NC State football rivalry
First meeting October 12, 1894
North Carolina, 44–0
Latest meeting November 25, 2017
NC State, 33–21
Next meeting November 24, 2018
in Chapel Hill
Meetings total 107
All-time series North Carolina leads,
66–35–6 (.645)
Largest victory NC State, 48–3 (1988)
Longest win streak North Carolina, 9
Current win streak NC State, 2

The North Carolina–NC State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the North Carolina Tar Heels football team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State Wolfpack football team of North Carolina State University.[1][2][3] Both universities are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and are permanent cross-division opponents. North Carolina leads the all-time series 66–35–6, though the rivalry has been very competitive in the ACC era. North Carolina State won the most recent contest, 33-21, on November 25, 2017. The Wolfpack has also won three of the last four, and eight of the last eleven games between the schools. It is annually anticipated as the biggest college football game in the state of North Carolina. [4]

Pre–ACC era

The first game between North Carolina and NC State occurred October 12, 1894 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 44–0, the first of six straight victories for North Carolina to open the series with NC State. The Wolfpack tied North Carolina four times between 1899 and 1905 before the series went on a fourteen-year hiatus, with North Carolina leading 8–0–4. Following a 0–0 tie on November 8, 1902, the student body of Duke University sent NC State a congratulatory telegram, showing the significance of another intense regional rivalry between Duke and North Carolina.[5]

The two rivals met again on October 23, 1919, and North Carolina narrowly escaped with a one-point victory. On October 21, 1920 in Raleigh, North Carolina, which was the fourteenth meeting between the schools, the Wolfpack won for the first time. NC State backed up the win with another victory the following season. Aided by the majority of the pre-Carter Stadium (now Carter-Finley, opened in 1966) games being played in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels dominated the pre–ACC series with a 31–5–6 record.

ACC era

North Carolina and NC State were both charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which played its first season in 1953. Since that year, the rivalry has been played every season without a break. NC State hired Earle Edwards as head coach in 1954, and he was able to have considerable more success against North Carolina than his predecessors. When Edwards was hired, NC State played in Riddick Stadium, which held half as many people as North Carolina’s Kenan Memorial Stadium. Due to this fact, Edwards opted to play home games versus the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill from 1956 to 1964. Despite playing on the road during those years, Edwards amassed a 6–3 record against North Carolina during that time period and a 9–8 record during his career as head coach of the Wolfpack, making him the winningest NC State coach against the Tar Heels.

In the first 26 seasons of the ACC, the series record was tied at 13, but beginning in 1979, North Carolina went on a seven-game winning streak. During this time, North Carolina head coach Dick Crum amassed an 8–2 record against the Wolfpack. NC State hired Dick Sheridan as head coach prior to the 1986 season, and he went 6–1 against the Tar Heels. However, following Sheridan's retirement from coaching, North Carolina went on another seven-game winning streak, leaving NC State head coach Mike O'Cain winless against Tar Heels coaches Mack Brown and Carl Torbush. The 1998 and 1999 games were held at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, with the Tar Heels victorious in both. During the 2000s, NC State went 6–4 in the series, including winning the last three games of the decade under Tom O'Brien. From 2000-2017, NC State leads 11-7. The series record in the ACC currently stands at 35–30 in favor of North Carolina.[6]

Game results


North Carolina victoriesNC State victories

See also


  1. "NC State hosts UNC looking to move on from crushing loss". USA Today. AP. November 24, 2017. North Carolina State figures it's had way too much practice at bouncing back from soul-crushing losses over the years. Finding an emotional edge shouldn't be a problem against rival North Carolina.
  2. "UNC, NC State renew rivalry with eyes on even bigger goals". Sports Illustrated. AP. November 24, 2016. When these neighborhood rivals play Friday, the only thing for certain is that it'll be a tough day for the losers - whose pursuit of their biggest remaining goal will be denied by the team they dislike the most.
  3. Armstrong, Mark (November 24, 2017). "Armstrong: The 5 biggest NC State-UNC football rivalry moments (since I've been here)". WTVD.
  4. "North Carolina – N.C. State: the rivalry America doesn't care about - FanRag Sports". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. 2008 NC State Football Media Guide
  6. "North Carolina State Game by Game against Opponents". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
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