As we told you earlier today, this game is huge for our future. The opportunity cost of failure is immense. No excuses – if Tom O’Brien is going to succeed as NC State’s head football coach, he must have a successful 2010 season. If we are to have a successful 2010 season, we must beat the likes of Central Florida. Even if the entire ACC played as if it should trade places with the Colonial Athletic Association – this is still must-win territory. So, although history demands that I expect our usual bed shitting – it’s really not an option tonight, boys (meaning players and coaching staff).
Tonight also marks our second straight “heavyweight” tilt in the post-Mangino era. George O’Leary could still eat his way to the top, if he puts some effort into it. Let’s roll.
7:40 – Wow, we held on 3rd and short. My jaded heart thawed a little.
7:44 – OK, Owen Spencer 10 yards in the clear for an east six. Yes, I did halfway expect him to drop it, because the catch would be too easy. I did NOT expect Wilson, under no duress, to overshoot him by a couple of yards. You have to think that will come back to haunt us, even after a surprisingly effective Ruiz punt.
7:48 – Sorry for the slow start. Blackberry version was hiding the “edit” function. Pack forces another punt.
7:51 – Hopefully, no more gift TD’s dropped. Pretty cool to hear the CBS music again for a State football game. Reminds me of the beatdown we put on Clemson in 1986, with Musberger in the house.
7:53 – Hey, Ron Cherry. The 1870s called, and they want their accent back. And a huge play is nullified by penalty. Pack is killing itself early on. What else is new.
7:55 – And we still can’t run for shit. Go with what we can do, TOB.
7:56 – Did anyone else see a facemask there? Mike Leach, auditioning for our coaching job for 2011. No conservative 3rd down calls from him! LMAO
8:00 – UCF’s running back has a girl’s name. Na-ha! (h/t, Nelson Muntz).
8:02 – Great tip drill from the Pack front line leads to an Earl Wolff pick and deep return. And Greene actually makes a positive play in the rushing game! Need six here. Three will not do
8:04 – I hope Haynes is a great blocker. Otherwise, I would like Greene to get more reps. Wilson sucks in the early going. Bad.
8:06 – And Haynes makes me look like an asshole, showing great burst twice on that same delay draw we used so effectively against Pitt last year (IIRC).
8:09 – In other news, Penn State looks like dogshit. Perhaps they should apply for ACC membership.
8:11 – Kuhn! The red eye is gone, and he’s disrupting the running game. All of a sudden, we look pretty good. Even making tackles. 4th and 1, Pack holds!!
8:13 – Hey, if you’re going to block in the back, might as well double your pleasure. The penalty is the same.
8:20 – Nice work to grind out the first down. Need to keep the momentum.
8:22 – Good ball control offense. Keeping the D off the field.
8:24 – This looks like an 8-win team right now. Nice to see such crispness in the second game of the year.
8:27 – Very difficult throw across his body, and Wilson makes it perfectly. 14-0. No, really – 14-0, our way!
8:30 – Wow, our kickoffs and coverage unit are even doing solid work. Well, except for being offsides.
8:33 – Doesn’t it seems like UCF should have better looking cheerleaders? I’m divorced, so I’m allowed to make observations like that again.
8:35 – The defensive containment and discipline are off the charts tonight. Even without hearing Nate Irving’s name once.
8:37 – The home crowd boos. We actually made a September road crowd boo! I never thought I would live to see that day. Time to go for the kill shot.
8:43 – Well, no kill shot. But Ruiz is punting great. Everybody wants in on the action tonight. Dear God, please let this last.
8:45 – Oh shit, we are going to get the ball. Kill shot may be coming after all. This is a beautiful game!!
8:48 – Kill shot delivered! 20 yard TD run by Mustafa Greene on 3rd and 10. NC State 21, UCF 0. Asses are being kicked. Names are being taken. This feels good.
8:52 – …and then they run the kickoff back for a touchdown. Back to Charlie Brown football?
8:57 – As long as UCF doesn’t score again before the half, I think we are in pretty good shape.
9:00 – But a semi-fluky big play, and the Knights have marched to the State 30. Not good.
9:02 – Who the shit is #37 (Monk)?
9:03 – State gets away with PI twice, and the FG is no good. Expect us to run out the clock – especially after a scary fumble.
Halftime (with bullets dodged) – NC State 21, UCF 7. Me gusta.
9:26 – Terrible start to the second half. Didn’t need a hangover from the last few minutes, but we have it.
9:28 – That was a huge first down.
9:32 – Wilson making some awful decisions. Very lucky not to have multiple turnovers.
9:35 – This is “Bizarro Wolfpack” – everybody playing great except RW. Cole makes another huge play, and it’s Pack ball at the UCF 18. Review won’t overturn.
9:37 – Leach disagrees with my assessment. But I’m 1 for 1 so far.
9:38 – Shit, Leach was right and I’m 1 for 2. That was huge.
9:41 – Then we drop an INT. Still, have to like how we are always around the ball. And still have it around midfield after the punt. Things are still good.
9:44 – One more score and I would be confident. But it aint happening on this possession.
9:48 – Audie Cole is playing the game of his life. You will never see a finer pick by a linebacker, on any level. Just brilliant.
9:51 – Real missed opportunity for points there. That could hurt.
9:53 – Shitty punt by Ruiz. Hopefully the worm isn’t turning.
9:57 – CJ Wilson runs it back for a score. Our defense has scored 7, given up ZERO. I never thought such a performance was possible. Not in a million years.
10:01 – Just noticed that I haven’t raised my voice in anger or frustration all game. Not once.
10:06 – UCF finally moving the ball a bit. The triple option throws us for a loop. Still don’t like how we match up with GT.
10:10 – Still don’t see how UCF scores 3 TDs in the 4th quarter. Not convinced they will even punch this one in.
10:14 – But punch it in they do, and it’s down to 28-14. Watch for onsides kick here.
10:20 – TJ is back to running poor routes, and State has to punt. Not good. Defensive intensity needs to ratchet back up a few notches.
10:23 – Yikes, that was scary bad coverage. But passing isn’t this QB’s forte. Then Audi Cole blows up the next play. Ooohs from the hostile crowd, even.
10:33 – God only knows why Ron Cherry thought we might decline the offsides call to bring up 4th down. But we don’t get any better results on the do-over. Need one more defensive stop to salt this one away.
10:38 – No idea where we found this defense. But I like it. Until a blown coverage gives UCF an easy 25 yards.
10:42 – Things got shitty all of a sudden. This would be a collapse of epic proportions. At bare minimum, it will be a tense ending.
10:45 – It’s a one score game with 4 and a half left. Pack will need two first downs or the palpitations start.
10:49 – Bad decision on his cut by Greene. Gain goes for 5 instead of 8 or 9. 4 on the next play and it’s a HUGE 3rd and 1.
10:50 – The QB keeper is sniffed out and crushed. Time to worry. Just under 3 minutes, UCF still has one timeout. Crucial punt coming up.
10:52 – And Ruiz f–king shanks it. 15 yard punt.
10:53 – Irving has lost more than a step. Heartbreaking.
10:55 – 4th and 1 converted. Easily.
10:57 – Pack lucks out, forcing a fumble inside the 10 yard line. Very poor 4th quarter, Manning saves our bacon with the recovery (after Brandon forces the fumble). Too bad, the first 3 quarters were exceptional.
10:59 – Still, I take any road win when RW plays like absolute garbage.
Your Final Score – NC State 28, Central Florida 21.