North Carolina State dispatched one regional rival and now the Wolfpack takes a crack at another.
N.C. State will wrap up the regular season with Saturday afternoon's game against East Carolina. It's a non-league game that was added to the schedule because both teams had September games cancelled because of concerns associated with Hurricane Florence.
For N.C. State, this is an opportunity to bolster prominence within the state by facing another team that is considered to be a rival. It's also a chance to move closer to a special season.
N.C. State holds an 8-3 record.
In order to keep some goals within reach, the Wolfpack needed last week's 34-28 overtime victory at North Carolina. That game came with quite a bit of anxiety.
"Really proud of our players, they've got heart," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "They've got grit. They've love each other."
Defeating rivals tends to bring about such passion and so N.C. State will aim for that to carry over into another week before the bowl destination is determined.
For East Carolina, it also will be the final game of the season so it could be much like the approach that North Carolina had when going against the Wolfpack.
This will mark the fifth game in a row that the Wolfpack faces a team that owns a losing record. N.C. State has won three of those games, losing only to Wake Forest (which ended up 6-6 in the regular season).
Doeren is 0-2 as a coach against East Carolina, which is coached by former Duke receiver and assistant coach Scottie Montgomery.
Because of a postgame scuffle in the North Carolina game, three N.C. State players will be suspended for one half of the East Carolina game. Doeren and his staff can decide which half for each of the players. The players are starting offensive tackle Justin Witt, backup safety Freddie Phillips and offensive tackle Tyler Jones, who isn't on the depth chart.
There will be other areas of concern for the Wolfpack. On the defensive line, Darian Roseboro returned to play in the North Carolina game but he was hobbled by a sore ankle.
N.C. State already went through a Senior Night game because that was slated for mid-November when the originally last home game was on the schedule. But this is another chance for some big-time producers to play on the home turf.