North Carolina started work Sunday on preparation for the final month of the football season, a time that it wants to lead to four victories, a winning record and bowl eligibility.
The work began two days after Coach Butch Davis gave the players a firm message after returning home early Friday from a 20-17 win at Virginia Tech. His instructions were to enjoy the victory, but not for very long, and to start getting ready for Duke on Saturday at home.
Serious: No time to savor win, Heels say
The Winston-Salem Journal
The last time Duke played football at North Carolina, two seasons ago, the Tar Heels underestimated the Blue Devils.
Given the bowl implications, and the position of each team in the ACC's Coastal Division, that shouldn't be an issue for Saturday's game at Kenan Stadium, the 96th meeting between these rivals.
This is the first time in the series that the outcome of the game means so much to the bowl hopes for each side.
UNC, Duke will meet with more at stake
The News and Observer
Four days after a stunning victory over Virginia Tech, North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates said Monday he could sense a different mood around the Tar Heels.
The junior signal caller said the team is brimming with confidence, unlike a week ago when UNC blew an 18-point lead in a disappointing loss to Florida State.
Davis: Tar Heels need to build on upset over Hokies
The Durham Herald-Sun
Deunta Williams has seen North Carolina turn in performances complete with tough defense and solid offense in wins against East Carolina and Virginia Tech. The safety has also seen days when the Tar Heels' offense did nothing or the defense couldn't protect a big second-half lead.
So which is the real UNC?
Tar Heels trying to sort out who they are
The Associated Press
The more important issue, for now, is that Cutcliffe has put football back into the annual game against North Carolina. For once in what seems like forever the outcome of the game this week in Chapel Hill will be more about records than coaching security.
Cutcliffe made Duke-UNC a game
The Charlotte Observer