Around the Internet(s) we go again, maties. Grab your favorite drink (non-alcoholic of course) and your fake parrot and get ready for the in-state brawl between the Heels and Pirates.

Will this game settle once and for all which mascot is the true state icon? It’s Blackbeard vs. soldiers getting irritated because they trekked tar into their houses … right?

  • After facing the dynamic duo of running backs from UConn, the Tar Heels might catch a break against ECU’s running game Saturday. Dominique Lindsay injured his right shoulder against West Virginia and Pirates coach Skip Holtz doesn’t think he’ll play against the Heels, according to the Charlotte Observer.
  • The Winston-Salem Journal has an obligatory piece about the revenge factor since the Pirates beat the Tar Heels in 2007. If you recall, T.J. Yates made one of his first few starts as a mere freshman and put up big numbers — 344 passing yards, three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Pirate quarterback Patrick Pinkney, who still starts for ECU, carved up the UNC secondary with 406 passing yards and three touchdowns in his first start. For some reason, I expect the defenses, especially UNC’s, to be stingier in 2009.
  • The media have been critical of Carolina’s offense after struggling against unranked UConn in the second week of the season, and the N&O writes that the Heels were without three starters — and eventually four when Zack Pianalto went down. The good news is that Pianalto didn’t break his foot, and it’s possible the other injured players could return to face the Pirates.
  • The Heels remaind ranked sixth despite the offenses’ woes on the ACC Sports Journal’s power rankings. Not really sure how you put Florida State over Carolina after struggling to beat Jacksonville State, which was predictable after FSU fans clamored on message boards that the Heels are overrated.

That’s it for now. Check back Thursday for the UNC-ECU preview and predictions.