NC State fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Glennon is well versed on the importance of Saturday's game against North Carolina.
Glennon and the Wolfpack are aiming for their sixth straight victory over North Carolina at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Chapel Hill. Glennon and the seniors can reinforce their legacy with another strong performance.
"I don't think anyone wants to be that class, since we've been here, that's all that we know of," Glennon said. "That's something we are focusing on. I think people know what is at stake, so it's not something we talk about. Our senior class wants to keep that streak alive."
The No. 6 also stands for bowl eligibility if NC State can get its sixth victory of the season.
"We just want to win to keep us on track to get closer to the ACC championship," Glennon said. "It [playing UNC] just happens to be the next game. We know we control our own destiny."
Glennon watched former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson for three years in the series, and then got his shot against UNC last year. He engineered a 13-0 win with 164 yards passing and a touchdown, with the Wolfpack controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. NC State rushed for 126 yards, while UNC had just three and lost starting quarterback Bryn Renner to injury.
"The defense really deserves credit for that one," Glennon said. "It was good to get a win and feel more part of it. This is the game that NC State seems to remember more than anything else. We all know there is a lot at stake."
Glennon said the team expects a special visitor Thursday in what has become a tradition of sorts.
"The person that comes in and talks to us is [former Wolfpack great] Tory Holt, and he does a great job with it," Glennon said. "The freshmen kind of learn quickly when he comes and talks about it. He tells us what is at stake and how important it is to the University, and how much you'll miss it when you aren't playing anymore."
Glennon is from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in Centreville, Va. He has gotten an indoctrination on the NC State/UNC rivalry.
"The reality is that when you come here you learn about it and learn how important it is," Glennon said. "Not a whole lot needs to be said about it.
"There is a little more buzz around campus and everyone is excited in the whole area. I'm sure UNC students are as excited as us."
The proximity between the schools, 22.6 miles between the two stadiums, heightens the rivalry.
"I figured when I came down here it was a big rivalry, but didn't know how much it means to the University," Glennon said. "It's a little unique because we are so close to one another. There are so many NC State and UNC alumni that live in this area. For schools like Virginia Tech and Virginia, no alumni really live in the Virginia Tech area. It has a different feel to it and it's a great rivalry."
The last two meetings at Kenan Stadium have proven to be memorable.
"The thing that sticks out is the two-yard Hail Mary [from Wilson to wide receiver Owen Spencer in the 29-25 win in 2010] whatever you want to call it, and my redshirt year, we beat them pretty good [41-10 in 2008]," Glennon said. "It seemed like by the end of the game, there was a lot more red than blue."
Glennon has proven his mettle in clutch situations. He engineered last minute drives in the wins over Florida State Oct. 6 and Maryland last Saturday.
"It's good to know that we've been in difference situations now where we've come back and won," Glennon said. "We've done it two weeks in a row, so we know we can do it, but at the same time, we don't always want to be in that situation.
"I think there is a lot of confidence that we can play from ahead and from behind and still come out with a win."
Glennon has gone 162-of-278 passing for 1,988 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions through seven games. Finding an offensive flow has been elusive this season at times.
"We kind of got off to a rough start [against Maryland] and we need to hit on all cylinders from the get-go," Glennon said. "We need to run the ball, pass the ball and just take care of those things little things. Whenever we find a rhythm on offense is when we play best."