CHAPEL HILL – The time is now for the Tar Heels. All that preparation has come to a close. On Thursday evening, the Tar Heels will be facing off against the South Carolina Gamecocks in a monster match-up between intrastate rivals.

Following Monday’s football practice, Head Coach Larry Fedora says the game plan is complete and it is time to throw his team into live competition this week in front of a national TV audience.

“Hay’s in the barn now. Now we just polish up. Game plan is done. Everybody understands what they have to do. Now we just polish up, and it’s all mental from this point on,” Fedora said.

Not surprisingly, Coach Fedora says the team is fired up for the game and anxious to kick things off on Thursday in a big statement for the Tar Heel football program. However, Coach Fedora says it is important for his team to not waste too much energy beforehand.

“There is no doubt it’s starting to boil up inside of them. It’s now about getting them to game day and exploding on game day. It’s a timing issue now just making sure we save it up, and we don’t burn it up before we get there,” Fedora said.

One of the keys to the season opener will come down to the big play ability of the Tar Heel wide receivers. Coach Fedora says Quinshad Davis’ emergence last season was a welcome sight and that he has made significant improvement in the offseason.

“He’s a good player. […] He’s a talented young man that wants to be really good and is willing to be really good,” Fedora said.

Despite the obvious stature of the game against a top-ten opponent that awaits Carolina in a couple days time, Coach Fedora says his team really hasn’t prepared all that differently than they did a year ago with the Elon opener.

Coach Fedora’s team seems ready and willing to fight for it on Thursday night. Tomorrow, some of the players will be featured on on the eve of the season opener.