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Everett Withers Wants You To Know He Is Taking The NC State Game Seriously

This could described as a definite shift in the wind from the days of Butch Davis who approached the NC State game with an almost Sendekian mentality.

Via Inside Carolina

On the rivalry:
“College football needs rivalries. And just like the East Carolina rivalry, I think it’s important to have rivalries in your state. I’ve always thought that. Everywhere I’ve been, there’s been rivalries in in-state matchups. I think it’s critical for college football and college athletics in general. Yes, it’s important. Sometimes you want to stay so focused that you want to say, ‘It’s the next game, it’s the next game.’ “But these kids were recruited by State, a lot of them. Some of them may not have been offered by State. They may not have had an opportunity. So I think it’s important when you have a school that’s only 20-25 miles down the road be a rivalry.”

What about this rivalry is important to you?
“I grew up a Carolina fan. That’s what’s important.”

Do you have any memories of UNC-NCSU games that standout?
“Nothing that didn’t involve Carolina winning. That’s about it. I’m a Carolina guy. I’ve been a Carolina fan and never once thought about N.C. State. I bleed Carolina blue.”

Withers makes direct reference to the “it’s the next game” approach which Butch Davis favored. Not that anyone thought Davis didn’t convey the nature of this game nor were the players ignorant of it. However Davis’ public downplay of the game coupled with four straight losses seemed to suggest someone did not get it.

Not the case with Withers who grew up in Charlotte watching UNC football and understand the nature of this game. Withers approached the ECU game much the same way calling it a rivalry game. In fact you could argue two of UNC’s best performances this season have come against two in-state school which would could be taken as evidence Withers is expressing the urgency of winning these types of games.

Needless to say this is a nice change from when Davis was running the show. While I understand the notion every game is the same from a practical standpoint, the reality of college football dictates that not all games are created equal. Some of them mean more to the fans and by extension the players. At this point with multiple juniors and seniors having felt the sting of losing to NC State three or four times, I imagine there will be extra motivation to finally put this streak to bed. There is also a lot of talk about the absence of Russell Wilson and UNC players basically crediting the success over the past three years to Wilson. There is some truth to that, especially given Wilson’s mobility however there is a danger in playing that card too much since it could also be interpreted as disrespect for the rest of the team.

Sitting on a four game losing streak means UNC’s best bet is to sit quiet and let the on-field performance do the talking. That being said, publicl acknowledging what his game means is acceptable and quite frankly extremely important. Withers has made it clear this game means something. Assuming the players follow his lead hopefully the Heels show up at Carter Finley on Saturday with a little extra juice in the tank.

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16 comments to Everett Withers Wants You To Know He Is Taking The NC State Game Seriously

  • teddyjackeddy

    I want this game and the Duke game , the VaTech game would be nice but I want the state champioship!

  • TarheelCuz

    For someone who wants to move past the Davis era you certainly have an issue doing so-

    TBH I know that even this year BD thinks this is one of the biggest games of the year and wants nothing more than a repeat of the Wake performance - or better.

    He still cares very much for the school, the town, and most importantly the players and coaches. He use to be our #1 coach and now he is maybe our #1 fan- besides me of course.

  • smallandpettypat

    ^Butch is gone. Get over it. If he wants to cheer the team on great, but I’m tired of him playing so prominently in in discussions of this year’s team. Personally, I don’t care one way or the other what he does on his Saturdays as long as it has nothing to do with him not having any control over what the players and coaches he brought to Chapel Hill are doing to submarine the team.

  • I bring up Davis when it is relevant to do so. In this case there is a definite difference in how Withers is approaching the NCSU game versus how Davis approached it.

    My wanting to move on has to do with people who need to get over the fact he was fired and stop flinging crap at the school and chancellor over it.

  • makeitWayne22

    Gio needs the ball all day…

  • Asheville Heel

    The BD issues and continued references will not end until the new coach is hired, depending on who it is, the NCAA sanctions are formally announced and the focus finally shifts to the new regime. Until then, the fan base divisions will continue unabated. This is just the way it is: the wounds are still open and deep. The “just get over it” and the “what the he!! were we thinking” factions are equally adament. This is our reality, IMO!

  • makeitWayne22

    Withers wins on saturday, there will be no more talk of Butch davis…

  • smallandpettypat

    My comments weren’t aimed in your direction, Brian. They were pointed right at Cuz.

  • TarheelCuz

    just to be sure you know that there are not simply two factions THF- it’s not an ultimate house divided to everyone. albeit it makes a better story.

    and not everyone that supported BD flings crap. I’m very dissapointed at how the University handled the situation and I hope a lesson was learned. Moving on…

    I supported BD, and I now support EW- and I’ll support the next coach.

    and very soon I’ll be cheering the loudest for Roy.

    Go Heels!

  • Asheville Heel

    ^^^ I do agree that there will be less talk.

  • smallandpettypat

    “I’m very dissapointed at how the University handled the situation and I hope a lesson was learned. Moving on…

    I supported BD, and I now support EW- and I’ll support the next coach.”

    On these points we are in 100% agreement, Cuz.

  • gregrustin

    give Gio all he wants. Give Glennon the business,take from them EVERYTHANG.

  • appheel

    There is no such thing as a ‘State’ championship. Don’t stoop to the NC State level of rewarding yourself for something fictional

  • ^Except the coach who promoted the idea of winning the “state championship” was Mack Brown when he was at UNC. I have no problem with that being one of the goals of every season. Obviously you set higher ones and to attain those higher ones, beating the in-state schools is a must but should UNC beat NCSU and Duke to finish 4-0 vs NC FBS schools, I will more than willing to crow about it.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    The concept of a “state championship” should have left when Mack left. Simply put, state championships are for high school teams. Period. College teams should be talking about conference and national championships … and reminding folks (TOB) who talk about state championships that he’s not in high school anymore.

  • appheel

    Don’t get me wrong, I want the Heels to dominate all the other teams in the state (except perhaps one). I just hate the idea of a ‘State” championship. I apologize for my ignorance though, I did not know Mack was responsible for the concept in NC.