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Wisdom from the Other Side: at North Carolina

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Before he headed off to the pokey, Kiefer Sutherland contacted Garnet and Black Attack and asked if we could provide anyone for him to practice being Jack Bauer on in the hopes that he wouldn't be so rusty when he got out.

Of course, we volunteered [North] Carolina March, the SB Nation blog on the Tar Heels, since we needed some information from them about the upcoming matchup Saturday.

Tell me about your offensive formation! Now!

The transcript of what we were able to squeeze out of [North] Carolina March follows. And be sure to check out my SB Nation colleague's site before the game.

If it weren't for the absolute insanity that has broken out in college football this year, everybody would be talking about Butch Davis' first "signature win," against Miami on Saturday. Is this the beginning of a new era in North Carolina football, or just a reflection of the fact that the Tar Heels have always had the Canes' number? And do you believe Davis is the guy to turn around UNC?

I thought the last win against Miami was the beginning of a new era in Carolina football, but that turned out not to be the case. I do think Davis will be the guy to turn things around at UNC, but whether that game will go down as a turning point willl depend on how both the Heels and Hurricanes finish out the season. I'm trying to temper my expectations and look at it as just a hint of what's come as opposed to the turning point.

Of course, he was their coach then.

Casual South Carolina fans probably know about T.J. Yates at most, if they know anything about North Carolina at all. Name someone else who will have a major impact for UNC on Saturday.

Deunta Williams at free safety. He's second on the team in tackles as a freshman, and has nabbed an interception in each of the last two games. The defense on a whole is young, but playing beond their age and improving every week.

What worries you about the game?

There's nothing I'd really call worrying. South Carolina's the prohibitive favorite, and Butch Davis has more than enough goodwill that a big loss with a young team won't demoralize them or the fans. It's almost all upside for the Heels.

Of course, Spurrier could get photographic aspirations again. I'm rather worried about that.

Aw, it was just a bit o' celebratin' 'cuz we coached 'em up.

I like Spurrier's idea of having an annual rivalry game between the two Carolinas at a neutral site like Charlotte, patterned after Florida-Georgia and Oklahoma-Texas. What say you?

I'd love more regional rivalry games, and restarting the ACC grudgefest of the '60s and '70s would be great. I'd prefer a home-and-home to Charlotte though, because I can't really stand the city.

But it's so pretty.

State your case for being the real "Carolina."

When Blez, Peter and I were hammering out the new name for the blog when I signed up with SBNation, the name "Carolina March" was almost vetoed because Tyler thought folks wouldn't know whether it was devoted to UNC or USC. I thought the light blue all over the page would be a subtle clue, and Peter chimed back with, "I will jump in and note that when I hear 'Carolina' -- without any prefix of South or North, assume UNC." So we're winning the hearts and minds of Texas blogger.

Also, we're older, bigger, and better in just about every way as judged by a panel of impartial experts. OK, technically the panel was myself and the sixpack of beer I polled, but I feel the point stands.

Oh, and our students don't wear hats that have Cocks printed on them.

What's wrong with that?

What are three things North Carolina absolutely has to do in order to win Saturday?

First, not turn the ball over. UNC's offense isn't good enough to get that many chances to put points on the board, and they can't give it up at the goal line (as with Virginia Tech) or hand the Gamecocks a short walk to the end zone.

Second, establish a running game. Anthony Elzy has done a great job in the last two weeks, but the offense was completely one-dimensional in the early weeks of the season, and was easy to stop because of it. UNC can't make it easy for the South Carolina defense.

Thirdly, they almost surely have to score more points than the other team. I keep running the numbers, but I just can't seem to make it work without this happening.

Of course, your prediction for the game.

South Carolina by four. UNC is definitely a keep it close then break your heart sort of team at this stage. The Heels will get you back in Columbia, though.