As the dog days of summering are progressing there is little going on in the world of college sports. Other than hot takes and biased team predictions, there is not much to discuss for even the most devoted college football fans. As a result fans are beginning to get into heated debates over the pettiest topics, such as whether or not NC State or UNC is a better tailgating school.

Hopefully this list can give fans something a little bit more substantial to argue about. Here are the top three State-Carolina moments of this century, in no particular order:

1. 2004- The goal line stand

North Carolina entered into this game as an underdog to the No. 25 NC State Wolfpack. However late in the fourth quarter, the Wolfpack found themselves trailing to the Tar Heels 30-24 while being pinned back deep into their own territory. After driving the ball all the way onto the three yard line of Carolina, things got really interesting.

NC State running back T.A. McLendon took a handoff and plowed his way into the endzone, so he thought. After the play was over one of the officials signaled for a touchdown, and the Wolfpack players began to celebrate. However, the official would soon be overruled, and the ball would be marked inside of the one yard line.

Both teams hurried back to the line for the next play, as the game was winding to an end. McLendon was given the ball again and attempted to leap over a pile of bodies at the goal line. However while he was in the air, the ball was poked loose and recovered by Carolina. The Heels would go onto the take a knee on the next play as they held on for the 30-24 upset.

 

2. 2012- Giovani Bernard Punt Return

The Tar Heels entered this game with a five game losing streak against the Wolfpack, dating back to the days of Russell Wilson. The Heels were hungry for a win over their rivals, and they had the perfect opportunity. After a back and forth game in which both teams had to comeback from double digit deficits, the game was tied at 35 with 29 seconds left, and the Wolfpack were punting the ball on fourth down.

NC State punter Wil Baumann booted the ball to about the Carolina 27 yard line where Giovani Bernard would field the punt. Bernard quickly cut towards his right side, and after receiving a series of great blocks he would sprint into the endzone with only seconds remaining.

NC State would be unable to score in the remaining time, and the Heels would get their first win over the Wolfpack since 2006.

3. 2013- NC State blanks UNC

This may have not been the most exciting game ever, and it was certainly not one that Tar Heels fans would want to remember. The reason that this game makes the list is because it was the climax of the Wolfpack’s dominance over the Heels.

NC State entered this game on a four game winning streak against their biggest rival, and they quickly turned the streak into five. The Wolfpack were able to hold the Tar Heels to only three rushing yards all game long while simultaneously forcing three turnovers.

This game may not be remembered for any one spectacular play, but it certainly left a mark in the history books. This game was an all-time low for the Carolina when it comes to the rivalry against State, and it furthered the bitterness between the two schools.

Honorable mention: 2015- UNC completes 11 win season

The Tar Heels were having their best season as a program in recent history following a ten game win streak entering the game. This game would end up being an offensive shootout as both teams racked up more than 500 yards on the day.

On this memorable day running back Elijah Hood gained 220 yards while his teammate TJ Logan rushed for an even 100. This game was significant in the sense that it clinched North Carolina’s first 11 win season in program history, and it happened against a bitter rival.

     

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