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The Pirates embarrassed the Tar Heels for the second straight year, even worse this time in a 70-41 victory that affirmed East Carolina’s superiority and raised questions about the direction of the North Carolina program under Larry Fedora.

Undersized, under-recruited, underappreciated. Record-breaking receiver Justin Hardy is the perfect example of all that East Carolina football represents.

New Hurricanes coach Bill Peters says not to read anything into it, but both Staal brothers opened training camp with different – and compelling – linemates than might have been expected.

This week’s controversy over Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s involvement with USA Basketball, provoked by a Yahoo! Sports column, was equal parts inevitable and amusing.

In two-plus seasons at North Carolina, Larry Fedora has won 18 games but few stand out in reflection. Over the next four games, starting Saturday at East Carolina, Fedora and the Tar Heels have a chance to make their mark.

Avoiding the wackiness elsewhere in the division, Duke took care of business with a dominating 41-3 win over Kansas to move to 3-0.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s visit to Wake Forest High School’s football practice, to commend the way the school has embraced USA Football’s Heads Up safety initiative, was overshadowed by new questions surrounding his handling of the Ray Rice incident.

Embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, after attending a Wake Forest High School football practice on Wednesday, continued to explain his response to the Ray Rice incident even as new questions were raised about the way it was handled by the NFL.

The Pirates kick off a critical stretch of three games against ACC and SEC teams with a visit to South Carolina, recently humbled by Texas A&M.

Hurricanes players still don’t have a feel for new coach Bill Peters. That will change quickly when training camp begins in two weeks.

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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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