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With Bunting on his way out, North Carolina in spoiler mode

Oct 24, 2006 - 8:07 PM No. 24 Wake Forest (6-1) at North Carolina (1-6), 3:30 pm EDT

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) - Surprising Wake Forest has designs on the Atlantic Coast Conference title, but to have a chance, the Demon Deacons first will have to clinch a state championship.

Looking for its first sweep of its in-state rivals since 1987, 24th-ranked Wake Forest takes on reeling North Carolina in an ACC matchup.

The Demon Deacons (6-1, 2-1 ACC Atlantic) already have defeated Duke and are coming off a 25-23 victory over North Carolina State on October 14. Looking for only the third 7-1 start in program history and first since 1979, Wake is a fourth-quarter collapse against No. 10 Clemson away from being unbeaten.

Wake Forest lost quarterback Benjamin Mauk for the year with arm and shoulder injuries after its season opener but redshirt freshman Riley Skinner has stepped in and stepped up for the Demon Deacons.

Skinner leads the ACC in completion percentage (67.89) and passing efficiency (148.4), and is 5-1 as a starter. He has completed 74-of-109 passes for 912 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception.

While Demon Deacon coach Jim Grobe has been able to find a way to turn his team from doormat into contender, Tar Heels coach John Bunting has not and is on his way out.

On Sunday, the school announced that Bunting will not be back next season. A North Carolina alumnus, Bunting is in his sixth season in Chapel Hill and has posted a 25-42 record.

Bunting has been unable to build on his first season with North Carolina, when the Tar Heels went 8-5 and won the Peach Bowl. This season has been a disaster as the team is 1-6 overall - 0-4 in the Coastal Division - and does not have a win over a Division I-A team.

North Carolina leads the series, 67-32-2, and has won 12 of the last 15 meetings.

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