"A lot of people talking down on us after last season. A lot of people not expecting much from us. And so, I feel like now more than ever, we're a prideful team, we have pride in ourselves." said offensive lineman "Icky" Ekwonu "We have confidence in ourselves. We're just look looking to shut a lot of mouths I guess is the word for it."
The running game needs to be a strength with a stable of capable backs and an experienced offensive line. Ricky Person's college career has been dogged by injuries, something he's hoping is behind him now.
"We're ready. We've got a lot of depth this year," Person said. "Everybody's mindset is on the same page so I mean, it is going to be something to see."
RELATED: As UNC, Duke get first game in, N.C. State remains itching to play
Coach Dave Doeren is pumping it up as a rivalry week vs. Wake Forest, but it really seems like it could be anyone out there -- State is just ready to smash.
"It's really easy not to feel pressure when you're confident. And I'm confident in the guys around me, I'm confident in the game plan and in the coaches. I know they'll put us in a spot to have success." Ekwonu said.
TAR HEELS PREPARE FOR CHARLOTTE
Myles Wolfolk at UNC has seen it all from mediocrity to miserable to now some serious momentum.
"Critics, good media, bad media, whatever's going on we're worried about ourselves," Wolfolk said. "Within this team, we're worried about playing up to our standard and making sure that if we do that, we're going to be a good team."
The Heels are heavy favorites vs. Charlotte and now know exactly what to expect from an empty Kenan Stadium.
"It was funny because we came out of the smoke and saw ... nothing. It was really funny to see but we kind of had this motto - BYOD - bring your own juice," Wolfolk said.
One interesting lineup note from the UNC vs Charlotte game: The 49ers will be without starting QB Chris Reynolds because of injury. His replacement? Former Middle Creek star Dom Shoffner.
DUKE'S BRICE LOOKS TO LEAD
Over at Duke, it hasn't taken Chase Brice long at all to commandeer the Blue Devil ship.
"I think it starts with leadership," the Clemson transfer said. "And for me to be the starter here, I've got to take a larger role in that and be more vocal. I need to be leading in every category on and off the field."
The Blue Devils will be looking to get in the win category at home against Boston College after a tough loss this past weekend at Notre Dame.