It’s hard to keep track of every college football team in the state.

After all, there are more than 30 programs taking the field each Saturday from Division I to junior college.

Of course, most folks around these parts follow East Carolina.

The Pirates are 1-1 under first-year coach Mike Houston. They’ve gone 3-9 in each of the past three seasons and haven’t registered a record above .500 and visited a bowl game since Ruffin McNeill led the Purple & Gold to an 8-5 mark and the Birmingham Bowl in 2015.

North Carolina is another program looking to get back on the right track.

And so far, so good.

Mack Brown has led the Tar Heels to their first 2-0 start since 2014 in his second stint in Chapel Hill thanks to Power Five wins over South Carolina and Miami.

Brown started with back-to-back 1-10 seasons (1988-1989) in his first go-round with the Heels before ending with back-to-back 10-win seasons (1996-1997) and top-10 national rankings before leaving to take the job at Texas.

Technically speaking, Carl Torbush led Carolina to its 10th win in 1997 after Brown left before the team’s victory in the Gator Bowl.

Brown spent 16 years in Austin and led the Longhorns to a national championship in 2005. They finished second in the country in 2009.

UNC won a total of five games over the past two seasons.

Four other in-state teams are also 2-0.

Dave Clawson is looking to lead Wake Forest to its fourth straight season above. 500 and its fourth straight season with a bowl victory.

The Winston-Salem program hadn’t ended a year above .500 or with a bowl victory in the previous seven seasons

The Demon Deacons have gone 7-6 in two of Clawson’s campaigns and 8-5 in the other over the past three seasons. They haven’t finished a year ranked in the top 20 nationally since 2006.

Wake will host North Carolina in a rare Friday night contest.

Appalachian State has this weekend off but will be 2-0 when the Tar Heels welcome the Mountaineers to Chapel Hill on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Scott Satterfield led the program to a fantastic 41-11 record and four bowl wins over the previous four seasons before taking the job at Louisville.

Former N.C. State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz has led the Mountaineers to 42-7 victory over East Tennessee State and a 56-41 triumph over Charlotte in his first year as coach.

N.C. State has outscored its first two opponents (East Carolina, Western Carolina) by a combined 75-6 score. Dave Doeren is aiming to lead the Wolfpack to nine wins for the third consecutive year.

And the last 2-0 team in the state?

That would be Davidson.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Wildcats are quite a story.

Going into last season, they were 23-87 in the previous 10 campaigns and hadn’t finished above .500 since 2007. First-year coach Scott Abell then led them to a 6-5 record in 2018.

(Send comments or questions to jj@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)

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