Better than Miami in 2004 (a 31-28 Carolina win on Conner Barth's 41-yard field goal)?
Better than Florida State in 2001 (a 41-9 spanking of the Seminoles, their worst regular-season loss in 16 years)?
Better than Clemson in 1996 (a 45-0 pounding to open the best two-year run of Tar Heel football at least since the Justice Era?)
Better than Duke in 1978 (a 16-15 win sparked by Amos Lawrence's 11-yard draw play with 13 seconds to play)?
Better than Duke in 1970 (Don McCauley's swan song with 279 yards and five touchdowns)?
Better than Florida in 1968 (a 22-7 upset of the seventh-ranked Gators in the backwash of Hurricane Gladys)?
Better than Michigan State in 1964 (a 21-15 win that typified the Tar Heels' ability from 1960-64 to slay big-time opponents like Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia and Michigan State)?
Better than Texas in 1948 (a 34-7 pounding of a Longhorn team considered the best in the nation in preseason speculation)?
The Tar Heels' pulsating 43-35 win Saturday over N.C. State amid a deliriously happy sell-out crowd in Kenan Stadium certainly ranks as one of the finest victories in 124 seasons of football in Chapel Hill. Giovani Bernard fielded a Wolfpack punt at the 26 yard-line, took off to the right and flew behind a perfect wall of blockers 74 yards for the winning score.
It capped a 10-point fourth-quarter rally.
It lifted the Tar Heels to a 6-3 record entering the final month of the season.
And it ended the Wolfpack's five-year victory string in the rivalry.
"That was a lot of fun," Tar Heel coach Larry Fedora said. "It was obviously a wild game, lot of things going back and forth. We had talked about during the week that it didn't matter what happened in the first couple plays of the game. It didn't matter what happened in the second quarter, third quarter. It was going to come down to the last possession. We really believed that and the kids bought into that. They bought into it and they believed that we were going to win the football game. That's the reason we won the football game because they believed that."
The Tar Heels are 3-2 in the Coastal Division of the ACC, tied for first with Duke and Miami. They have a week off before entertaining Georgia Tech in Kenan Stadium on Nov. 10 (game time to be announced on Sunday by noon). Of course, Carolina is ineligible to win the division title and play in the ACC Championship game, but the Tar Heels still have plenty to play for.
"We have a lot of goals still out there," offensive guard Jonathan Cooper says. "We want to win our last three games. We want to finish at the top of the division standings. There are some offensive records out there. And we want to be unbeaten at home this season. There's still a lot of football left to play."