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Shadrach Thornton’s second-half running helped jump-start the NC State offense in a 24-23 comeback win over Georgia Southern.

Ryan Switzer and DeVon Edwards were unknown at this time last season. By year’s end, everyone knew their name. Bo Hines and Elijah Hood have the best chance to make a similar impact as freshmen this season.

Dan Patrick claimed on his radio show Thursday that the Carolina Hurricanes are one of two NHL teams that might move to Las Vegas. That’s not likely, but it does illustrate how the perception of the team has changed as it has struggled on the ice and in the stands.

Twenty-three years after East Carolina went to the Peach Bowl, the format of the new College Football Playoff leaves the door open for a return by the Pirates.

Duke will be hard-pressed to match last season’s 10 wins and defend the ACC Coastal Division title, but it’s a statement of how far the Blue Devils have come that seven or eight wins would be considered regression.

Not since 1997 has North Carolina won eight games in a season. The Tar Heels may never have a better chance than this fall.

Former ACC executive Michael Kelly has overseen the transition to the College Football Playoff, which debuts this season.

There aren’t many defensive players who could change the face of a conference race if injured, but Duke’s Kelby Brown -- the linebacker lost for the season with a torn ACL on Monday -- is one of them.

A year after North Carolina wide receiver Quinshad Davis didn’t quite hit the 100-catch mark coach Larry Fedora set for him, his goals are a little less defined and maybe a little more achievable this season.

With a surfeit of big names on NC State’s roster, “Meet the Pack” day was really about meeting the Wolfpack, which is counting on new names to emerge this season.

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Luke has worked for The News & Observer since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist in August 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
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