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Triangle teams prepare for openers

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The start of the college football season is around 24 hours away and  the State of North Carolina is giddy in anticipation.

If you're going to the Pirate Radio Football Kickoff Party you'll be watching South Carolina vs. Texas A&M but if you are not in attendance I'm going to assume you don't care about either of those teams or you are not an ECU fan. Believe it or not, we do have some of those around these parts, so this sports story is for you.

The North Carolina Tar Heels will open their season at home against Liberty on Saturday. That game is at 6 p.m. on ESPN3. The 23rd ranked Heels are expected to be strong offensively with TJ  Logan and Ryan Switzer at a few of the skilled positions. As the team deals with a hazing controversy involving a walk-on this week, Coach Larry Fedora also has to choose his starting quarterback. Will it be Marquise Williams or Mitch Trubisky?

"I've said from all the way back in the spring that I believe we have two guys we can win with and so its really not a position I'm deeply concerned about," said Fedora.

"Ultimately I feel like their pretty similar," says Switzer. "They've both got great arm strength. As much as Mitch thinks he can run I think Marquise is a little bit more mobile. Mitch is not going to like me for saying that but other than that there's really not much difference to them."


The NC State Wolfpack also have a couple of cupcakes at the beginning of their schedule this year. It's year two under head coach Dave Doeren and the Pack will kick things off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Georgia Southern. You can catch that game on ESPN3 as well. Coach Doeren along with his new quarterback Jacoby Brissett are excited about the opener.

"I think you'll see two teams that both are going to have a chip on their shoulder.," said Doeren. "I think our team does for sure and I know just having coached at schools like Georgia Southern, I know what their players are going to be like and both of us in my opinion are going to play that way."

"It's been a long time," says Brissett. "The thing that I miss most is just that opening snap and just seeing the ball kicked off and you know its here and its just time to go."


The best team in the Triangle last season was 10 win Duke. The Blue Devils lost to eventual national champion Florida State in the ACC Championship game and followed that up with a thrilling loss against Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. This year the Dukies look to defend their Coastal Division crown with the return of Anthony Boone and Jamison Crowder.Elon travels to Duke for their opener Saturday, kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN3. 

"The good parts are that we have a very experienced group of skill players and talented skill players back on offense," says head coach David Cutcliffe. "We have a very good back end defensively in the secondary and our linebackers all return. I love the fact that we've got some threats in the return game, our specialist is back in the kicking game, we've got an opportunity."


Meanwhile, Wake Forest will be the first ACC team to open their season. The Deacs will play Louisiana-Monroe tomorrow at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. 

The big one isn't until Saturday at 8 p.m. It's East Carolina against NC Central.


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