6 Weekender Friday, October 14, 1977
( A WW?
IMt : - V' ,
UNC quarterback Matt Kupec,
left, and State quarterback
Johnny Evans will direct their
offenses Saturday during
another edition of one of the
most intense rivalries in the
state: the Carolina-State
football game. Kupec has
recovered from a leg injury that
kept him from playing in the
Texas Tech game and
hampered him in the Wake
Forest game. Evans,
meanwhile, will keep the Tar
Heel defense honest with
strong running and accurate
passing, while the Wolfpack
backfield always is a potent
threat. Kupec photo by Joseph
The rivalry changes as the years go by
By GENE UPCHLRCH
The game was Bill Dooley's first as head coach at
North Carolina. It was opening game 1967: Carolina
vs. State. The Game. In the fourth quarter with the
score tied, a senior quarterback named Jim Donnan
threw a touchdown pass to give State a 13-7 win. With
Donnan, State went on that year to a 9-2 record its
best ever and a 14-7 Liberty Bowl win over Georgia.
Dooley's Tar Heels went on to a 2-8 record.
But life works in strange ways. Jim Donnan now is
an assistant coach under his old foe while Bill Dooley is
in his 1 1th year with the Tar Heels.
And this week, while preparing for another edition
of The Game, Donnan, as offensive backfield coach,
spent many hours working with the Carolina
quarterbacks and running backs, trying to defeat his
Things have - changed a lot since Donnan
quarterbacked at State. For one, the rivalry between
t he two schools has grown into one of the most intense
in the nation.
"It was a low-key thing when I was there," he said
this week. "Coach (Earle) Edwards tried to make sure
we didn't lose the game. There wasn't a lot of hoopla.
We were ready to play."
The State team again is ready to play this year.
Under Bo Rein, its third coach since Edwards, the
Wolfpack has surprised nearly everyone by jumping to
an early lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference race and
defeating ACC defending champ Maryland.
Under the direction of another capable quarterback,
Johnny Evans, State now has a 5-1 record and a two
game jump on the lead in the conference race. Evans,
with his ability to both run and throw the football,
makes the Pack attack versatile. But the punch for the
Pack comes from a stable of running backs: Ted
Brown, Rickey Adams and Billy Ray Vickers. Evans
makes opposing teams start with their backs to the wall
with a punting ability that ranks him among the best in
"When I was at State," Donnan said, "we were in the
process of achieving an equality with Carolina. We
were trying to be competitive with Carolina."
The gameagainst Carolina was The Game for State
then, even though the Duke-Carolina game was the big
"Now, both are big games," Donnan said. "But for
fans across the state, the State-Carolina game is
probably the one they get the most excited about."
Donnan said the philosophy at State when he was
preparing for the Carolina games was not to over
prepare for it.
"Every game's important," he said. "You can't over
prepare for one and ignore the others."
And he maintains this philosophy as he and the
other coaches prepare the team for this week's State
"We just have to concentrate on eliminating our
mistakes," he said. "But there's no doubt they'll be up."
Carolina's offense has had difficulty this season
operating flawlessly. Inconsistency, Dooley said this
week, is the problem, and if it can be overcome,
Carolina can beat State.
"We've been bothered by inconsistent execution,"
Dooley said. "We've suffered breakdowns that have
These breakdowns, fumbles and mistakes have
stopped Carolina drives short of a score. Substantial
leaders, Amos Lawrence and Phil Farris, have
emerged from the crowd competing for the tailback
position, increasing the chances that fewer mistakes
will happen on offense. In addition, quarterback Matt
Kupec, who missed the Texas Tech game with an
injured ankle and knee, should be 100 percent for the
State game, adding consistency and stability to the
A question mark for Carolina's offense during the
early part of the season was the status of Billy Johnson.
He was moved from the starting tailback spot to
fullback last week and scored a touchdown against
Wake on a bullish, 18-yard run with three tacklers
hanging on for five yards.
With a win Saturday, State will be able to move
farther into the conference lead, making it tougher for
the other teams to catch up. If Carolina wins, however,
the conference race will become closer and increase the
chances of the Tar Heels or another team overtaking
Donnan has no mixed emotions about an emotional
game between his alma mater and his employer.
"When you get into coaching, you run into many
cross-ties," he said. "It's the nature of the profession.
I'm happy to be here. I've had good support from the
coaches and players. Everybody has accepted me for
what I am, not where I went to school."
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