Well…That Went By Fast.


Can a football season be dissected down to 4 plays? No. No one in their right mind would do such a thing.

1: USC- First play of the campaign is a 90 yard kickoff return for a TD.

2: ND- A blown non-call brings a pick-six kerfluffle, absolutely flipping the world upside down.

3: CU- Boundry safety commits early to wrong gap for an 89 yard touchdown run.
(You probably thought it was gonna be our gunners overrunning the 77 yard punt return.)

4: WFU- Yes. The fumble at the plane.

…Only in a vacuum.

Now,I promise you. I had no intention of posting the following, but it occurred to me that the two previous times that I did…We whipped some Tarhole ass. Of course you are most welcomed to scroll straight on through.
………………………………….

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN FIRST
SHUNNING THE BABY BLUE?

I know where I was when it came to me, and if you feel like listening, I’ll tell you the story.

OK then…

I was in Kenan Stadium on the third Saturday afternoon in September of 1972. This 18 yr. old freshman from Western New York was, now completely healthy, understood what the hell I was supposed to be doing out there, dressed out, and on the depth charts for the first time as a varsity football player for the Red and White from NC STATE!

Actually, that day, it was white over white with red lids and trim, white wristbands to the elbow and white spats. (Modified to go no higher than the ankles. Holtz rules on spats. ) Dressed to impress, like any receiver worth his salt!

The Heels were ranked. We had tied Maryland in the opener and beaten Syracuse, and were on exactly nobody’s radar. There I was, with a couple hundred Monarch butterflies ingested at pre game meal, surrounded in light blue, with more than a fair share of red. Was I breathing it all in? You bet your rear end, I was.

Shoot, I’m getting ahead of myself. The question to the lead was…” first shunned.” Let’s back up a bit.

Midway through gearing up for practice on the first Monday before Carolina, in the bowels of Reynolds Coliseum, I noted a lack of jocularity coming from the upperclassmen side of the locker room. The familiar, often loud, good natured insults, and tales from Saturday night’s post game exploits, were missing.
We freshman never cut up, reserving the smarts to not draw undo attention upon our rookie dumbasses. Well, we sorta’ did, in whisper-tone, amongst ourselves, but we mostly wanted to hear what was goin’ on a couple of rows over. There was not much to pick up this day. Not for me anyway, until we hit the practice field.

After quick drills, which were Lou’s form of calisthenics…hands to the helmet, hands to the thigh pads in 100 man unison, we broke into positional units like we always did prior to game plan practice.
For we wideouts, it pretty much consisted of pairing up and throwing the ball to each other for about ten minutes with the frustratrated QB in us, doing his best to make the partner try and come up with the most ridiculous sideline catch ever.

On this day, Steve Lester was my partner. Steve Lester was the  “other” starting senior wideout in 1972. It was Lester who taught me how to recognize and take out a pitch man. It was his voice that was particularly missing back in the dressing room earlier, too.

Before I threw my first pass to him that day, I heard him say, “Angelo.”

I kinda looked at him funny, like I expected more to follow.

“Lou Angelo,” as he snatched my quite less than perfect spiral.

When I asked him what heck he was talking about, I received no answer, just a nifty little zipper about 3 inches off the ground. Wideout coach, Brian Burke, eventually broke up our quarterback fantasy with a round of ” who wants the ball more.” You know…toss the football up like a basketball tip-off and get it. The drill went pretty much silent before Holtz’s whistle blew, signaling us to  “Line it up!”

Practice was routine that day, getting the package for Saturday’s gamer installed. After dinner, the offense watched a little film of the Carolina defense versus Maryland’s from the past weekend.

The thing about film was that for the wideouts, there really wasn’t a whole lot of information to be gathered. Very few teams ran the Twin Veer, so it was tough picking up tendencies watching a future opponent defend an I-formation. The best you could do is try and find the pitchman in zone and man coverage. The problem is, sometimes the outside LB was it, sometimes the strong safety, and even the DE. You never really knew until the play was in motion against the Veer.

Maybe midway through the session, I saw a safety, # 11, put a wicked hit on a back that had lined up as a flanker. A bunch of “oohs” followed the play from the room.

Someone muffled, “there’s your boy, Pat.” That didn’ t seem to go over very well.

“Fuck him.” That came from Lester. I looked over at Pat Kenney for a reaction.

Nope. Nothin’. Maybe a squint. The session soon ended, and for the second time that day, I was left with this question mark balloon over my noggin. I wanted to ask what just happened back there, but as a freshman dressing out for the first time, I felt that if they don’t tell ya straight off, ya don’t ask.

Tuesday’s practice was quite remarkable. The guys were really getting at it with each other. It was a mean practice, filled with plenty of expletive adjectives and verbs being tossed around, usually describing Carolina. I was beginning to think that this might not be just another game to win. 

Over dinner, Don Buckey broke a silence at our freshman round table. “Hey. Who is Lou Angelo? ” I looked up and asked him where he had heard that name. “Steve Lester said it to me today. He wouldn’t tell me who it was.” I told Buckey about hearing the name from Steve the day before, but knew nothing either.

As we walked out of Case for the evening, I spied Lester. I had to know. I gave Buck a head twitch and we caught up to the guy with the answer. Buck said it first.

” Who is Lou Angelo? ”

Lester looked at us like we had leprosy or sumpthin’.

” He broke his jaw! On a cheap hit! ” Lester was pointing, pointing up ahead at Pat Kenney. He what? Pat? Pat Kenney, our all everything? The player I had hoped to emulate? Broke his jaw on a cheap hit?
… Angelo, now I got it. Number 11.

Boys and girls, by Wednesday, I had a whole new take on Saturday’s game. I not only was flushed by the prospects of playing in my first college game, but understood that I was now involved in some thick subplots. I was beginning to catch the current of utter despise for the coming opposition. Should I play Saturday, I had developed a notion to find a way to make Lou Angelo look bad. If the situation were to present itself, make him pay without doing something cheap. Scoring, or even receiving one on him woulda’ fit the bill.

Midway through the third quarter, Carolina went up by 14. We came right back with a TD of our own. That’s the way the game had been going all afternoon. They’d pull ahead, and we’d come back within striking distance. We played from behind, but we played with confidence. I had managed to play two complete series by the end of the third quarter. They were very unremarkable minutes. Nothing really came my way. Most of the plays were spent running off the corner , peeling back and chasing to get a pad on someone.

At the outset of the 4th quarter, Carolina had punted and we took possession. Holtz threw up two fingers, meaning I was about to get another series. We moved the ball pretty well, with Roland Hooks picking up most of those yards out to about midfield. We stalled though. On a 3rd and long, I finally had a chance to make a play. I ran a sharp 5-yard slant and had no one in front of me. It just wasn’t meant to be, as Dave Buckey’s pass got batted down at the line of scrimmage. Down seven, we had to punt.

I held my block until the thud and headed downfield, one eye on the ball, the other on anything in pastel. Pat Korsnick had kicked a beauty. It was high, deep, and to my side.

At around the 10 yard line I picked up the ball again. The return man was backing off, this one was gonna’ be mine baby! Inside the 5! At that moment, I got lambasted. Hit from the side and behind my knees, my arms stretched forward while my legs were planted several inches into the sod. The ball trickled into the end zone.

I was pissed! As I reached behind me to yank the sonofabitch that just drilled me off my legs, I saw two things at once. On the shoulder pads of the player was emblazoned numeral eleven. On the ground next to me was a pretty, little, yellow hankie. We untangled and I got up first on shell-shocked pins. I extended a hand to pull #11 up along with the words,  “helluva play Lou.” Something else was uttered about cheap shot, maybe his mother, too. 
Personal Foul…Illegal block…Half the distance to the goal line.

The defense kept ’em right down there and on 4th down, Mike Stultz did what he did best that year. He took their punt to the house, man, 27-27 with eight minutes and change to go.

The Tar Heels mounted a time consuming drive and with under 2 minutes left, punched it in for the go ahead score. Lou collected the offense and exclaimed, “Hey! hey! It’s alright. We’re gonna’ score here!” Then down the field the O went, with a Bruce Shaw bullet here and a Bruce Shaw bullet there. I think we had a big gainer on a draw by Willie Burden, too. Our execution behind the likes of that line of Druschel, Yoest, Everett, Blanchard and Sitterle, was magnificent. With 00:02 and the ball resting on Carolina’s 26, we used our last time out.

Shaw came over to the sideline, and we gathered, straining to hear the call. Of course, the guys on the sideline were a wreck, with the Baptist boys praying and the Catholic boys ( including me, maybe just me) trying to cut deals with St. Anthony. The rest of the faiths put theirs on the offense.

” Right 86.”  Lou released his grip on Shaw. The play put Lester split wide to the left on the line of scrimmage. TE Harvey Willis would occupy a safety with a shallow drag from the right, and Pat Kenney would be flanked wide off from him. Steve would run a skinny post. Pat would be off to the races on a fly.

It…seemed… like…the… ball… hung… in… space… forever, near the back corner of the endzone. To my line of sight, there was nothing but that baby blue in the area.

It’s still all in slow motion as I recall to you, when superman, sans cape, but with a big red 25 on his chest, flew from nowhere, between the mass of Crayola Cornflower, and over # 11.

Touchdown, Pat Kenney! With the clock at 00:00 and the scoreboard at 34-33, and the crowd in anguish mixed with holy glee, Holtz managed to get the entire team together on the sidelines. “Men, its up to you. Go for the tie or go for two? ” You probably already know the answer to that question. Lou did, too.

Holtz called for a middle screen meant for Charley Young , and then added an unusual twist. He inserted Buck at QB.

The play failed… miserably. Later in the locker room, Lou would tell us that the play was the worst he’d ever called.

Yeah, we were hurt, but we were also fiercely proud heading off the grid to the field house.

As we made our way on the cinder track to that field house, the Carolina band’s horn section was lined up on the edge of that track serenading us with a mocking rendition of “Old MacDonald.” As I passed in front of the tuba section, one blasted off a note not 12 inches from my ear hole. I don’t know what possessed me, but I bent over, grabbed a handful of gravel, and rammed it right down that fat bastard’s horn.

From that day forward, I developed a discretionary chart on lighter shades of blue, mostly followed with curled lips.

About TheCOWDOG

Multiple ACC Championship ring bearer...If they had given us rings back then, that is. Famous for being Lou Holtz's favorite target...of flying clipboards, and responsible for the creation of wholey new obscenities off the tongue of Sam Esposito, between and outside the white lines. Son of a HoF basketball coach.

NCS Football

Home Forums Well…That Went By Fast.

This topic contains 36 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  eas 1 week, 4 days ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 37 total)
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  • #127021

    TheCOWDOG
    Moderator

    Can a football season be dissected down to 4 plays? No. No one in their right mind would do such a thing. 1: USC- First play of the campaign is a 90 y
    [See the full post at: Well…That Went By Fast.]

    #127022

    McCallum
    Participant

    Pretty clear breakdown.

    Looks closer than further away.

    1) 90 kickoff and 57 yd TD pass against SC. Three turnovers were no help.

    2) Punt return against Clempson and long TD run.

    3) Great play by lucky sperm club linebacker at goal line.

    5 plays right there that are the difference between 7-4 and 10-1.

    State was mauled at ND. They were never going to win that one.

    McCallum

    #127023

    Pack78
    Participant

    CD-Love this recap every time you post it before this game-let’s ALL get our game faces on-GO PACK!

    #127024

    choppack1
    Participant

    Yep. Agreed Pack78.

    And yes, close but no cigar this year. Like I said in an earlier thread – the good news is that there has been no Louisville meltdown this year. We can get there, Saturday is huge for a ton of reasons. But 6-2 while another is 1-7 is just another.

    #127049

    highstick
    Participant

    I always want to confuse this game with the one the year before at State when I was in my last semester before graduation. Think that was the day that Wilder and a young fellow named David Thompson came over to my apartment before the game…Wilder’s brother and future wife were staying with me that weekend.

    Next year, I was still in Raleigh working and married for 3 months.

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

    #127050

    highstick
    Participant

    I always want to confuse this game with the one the year before at State when I was in my last semester before graduation. Think that was the day that Wilder and a young fellow named David Thompson came over to my apartment before the game…Wilder’s brother and future wife were staying with me that weekend.

    Next year, I was still in Raleigh working and married for 3 months.

    I also recall this was the night I decided to take a rest at the afterparty at my wife’s apartment, took a nap on the bed, rolled off between the bed and wall and they didn’t find me for 3 more hours!!

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

    #127052

    YogiNC
    Participant

    CD, loved reading that once again. This time though I came away with a new tidbit of info. The data digger in me kicked in and I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed down who is behind the nom de plume, and I came away with a whole new level of respect. There is a large difference of supposing who someone might be and actually knowing.

    Graduating from HS in 72 I had two teammates that played for Clemson and one that played for the Gamecocks. I gave one of them a call last night to reminisce and when I called your name his reaction was “what a tough SOB that guy was”. High praise from a guy who had creosote on the sides of his helmet from slamming into a light pole to get warmed up for practice. My favorite play was fake 34, 21 cause I knew when I hit that hole it was going to be open.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #127053

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    1972 — If we knew then what we know now…

    We’d all be in jail or worse, maybe President…

    There’s poetry in sports, especially on the gridiron and today we’ll find out whether this football season ends as a
    — Greek Tragedy
    — Divine Comedy
    — Paradise Lost
    — Blank Verse
    — Moral Epic
    — Carpe Diem

    I’m thinking if we come out strong on both sides of the line, get up a couple of TDs, we’ll smite them with the sword and vanish our enemies in an absolute defeat and cleanse ourselves of the taint of this season’s WhatIFs?? and WouldaShouldaCouldas!! and silence the lambs…

    If not, we’ll probably need a couple of fields goals to claim the moral victory….

    The underlying theme today may well be…

    “When you’ve got nothing to lose, you risk everything….
    and when you’ve got everything to lose, you risk nothing…

    We shall see…
    GO PACK!!!

    #OverTwentyYearsCheating?
    #127054

    TheCOWDOG
    Moderator

    Yogi, I knew a lotta guys from Clemson and USC, albeit mostly from the baseball side. A couple played both, too.

    Fine day for football. Hines passed the concussion protocol, and hopefully makes it through unscathed. He is truly the difference maker.

    Did Doeren and staff work the players’ state of mind well enough this week? Were they able to shed the baggage of the 1-3 stretch? I look at these kinds of indicators more so than X and Os. Execution…Sharp and focused. Above all, belief.

    #127055

    YogiNC
    Participant

    Mark Heniford was the guy I spoke of. He played catcher for Clemson in 73, not first string though, mostly pinch hit. He never made the traveling squad so he stuck with football. Undersized LB but would take your head off if he caught you blindsided (I know this from personal experience in practice). He ascribed to the Jack Lambert school of thought that QBs should wear a dress. His disdain for running backs was almost as intense. Also played right guard in HS. His comment last night was that you and he locked horns more than once in the 75 game, and that the Pack killed them that day.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #127056

    TheAliasTroll
    Participant

    7-3 against the Cheaters over the past decade.

    Season	Site	Final	Line
    2007	home 	31-27 	-3.5
    2008	away 	41-10 	11.5
    2009	home 	28-27 	5
    2010	away 	29-25 	2.5
    2011	home 	13-0 	3.5
    2012	away 	35-43 	7.5
    2013	home 	19-27 	5
    2014	away 	35-7 	6.5
    2015	home 	34-45 	5.5
    2016	away 	28-21 	9.5
    2017	home 		-16.5

    Interestingly enough this is only the 2nd time this decade we are favored. Last time we were favored by a big number (-17.5) was 2003 when Phil was running the show. We won that game, but we didn’t cover.

    My favorite win of the last decade is easily the 41-10 gem. Being a 11 point dog and just coming out and embarrassing them made for some sweet times at work that following Monday.

    #127058

    YogiNC
    Participant

    Sorry CD, I had you pegged for that Horvance kid. A little too far to the west, huh? No matter, you were pretty stellar too!

    Smarter than the average bear

    #127059

    TheCOWDOG
    Moderator

    I figured so, Yogi. I didn’t tangle with many LBs.
    Pat Hovance from Alliance, Ohio!

    #127065

    JaxPackMan
    Participant

    I don’t disagree with the plays you point out. What impact do you think not having a reliable place kicker has had on play calling?

    State’s Defense has been really good, but why does it seem that every opponent has a player who sets a school/personal record? I’m thinking of BC’s running backs, ND’s running back, and Wake’s pass receiver.

    JaxPackMan
    NCSU class of '76
    Jacksonville, FL

    #127291

    PackerInRussia
    Participant

    Cowdog I hope the boys in red keep winning so that you’ll keep posting that story each year. Enjoy it every time. Either I noticed some new things or you added in a few extra details. A few new wrinkles for the big game?

    #127300

    redwolf87
    Participant

    This was and is a great, great story. Thanks Cowdog.

    Yesterday was one of those games you have people sitting behind you that only stir up angst. And they are, for lack of a better word, the very epitome of the “Walmart Kerliner Fan”.

    A half-dozen or more. I could have made a doc off of these guys. They were hooting and hollering and invoking Ric Flair.

    After Hyem’s second TD, they left. Hated that.

    #127310

    McCallum
    Participant

    I gave one of them a call last night to reminisce and when I called your name his reaction was “what a tough SOB that guy was”. High praise from a guy who had creosote on the sides of his helmet from slamming into a light pole to get warmed up for practice.

    Reputation is worth 3 divisions.

    I would tap on my eye ball to stop the blink reflex from initial contact. Hitting walls, butting ones head on steel beams etc look darn stupid in hindsight but it did send a message of DEDICATED FOCUS on the subject at hand.

    That aside, Hines was the real difference maker IMO. The size of the receivers coupled with the difficulty of covering JSAM could leave the field wide open for Hines. His absence was noticeable.

    McCallum

    #127316

    choppack1
    Participant

    In only one of our 4 losses was Hines completely available and relatively healthy.

    (Let’s point out here that was really impressive for Hines was how he grew as a runner from the beginning of the year.

    It’s also worthy of note that when the coaches knew he wouldn’t be relied upon for his usual role (Clemson) – the staff did a great job gameplanning. This reinforces my theory that our guys can prep pretty well but have a hard time adjusting real time. (Of course, as Clemson showed – you lose a key guy and things can go south in a hurry.)

    #127318

    YogiNC
    Participant

    Saturday it was a joy to see those last 3 TDs. The really funny part of the second one was 2 DBs thought they had him and yet it was strangely like the coyote and the roadrunner. Hines gave ’em the beep beep and they were grabbing at a vapor trail.

    Smarter than the average bear

    #127327

    freshmanin83
    Participant

    I hope Hines comes back next year.

    #127334

    choppack1
    Participant

    Yea – we have a few guys who I’m concerned about…

    Finley
    Hines
    Roseboro
    Richardson

    Those are the obvious ones. I think the easiest “I need to go ASAP” is Richardson. Next of those is Hines – although I think he can improve his stock significantly if he can make through an entire year healthy. His choice is most difficult though because if he gets injured next year, he’ll be labeled as fragile.

    #127337

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    Hines ain’t gonna make it thru a 12 game season at the level we want to play IF DD doesn’t get us another Old Testament Tailback…

    I told ya’ll 6-7 games ago, Hines wasn’t built to run the ball 20-25 times a game, most of those between the tackles…

    Hell no… I don’t want to see him go pro…
    but whoever else is whispering in his ear knows what I saying about his size and our lack of a true up the middle tailback and that may be the deciding factor…

    POP!!!

    #OverTwentyYearsCheating?
    #127339

    ryebread
    Participant

    We finished at 8-4, which is exactly what I thought before the year. We lost to S.Carolina and WF, which I didn’t expect, but beat FSU and Louisville. Overall, that’s a solid season.

    DD should get his automatic 1 year extension but nothing more. I hope he’s back next year, but he may put his hat in the ring for other jobs. If he does and gets hired, then so be it.

    #127345

    TheCOWDOG
    Moderator

    Thanks for the accolades!
    Not mine…Theirs.

    All-ACC selections:
    1st Team
    Chubb
    Hines
    Jsam
    2nd Team
    Harmon
    Adams
    Richardson
    3rd Team
    Finley
    Hines (SP)
    Honorable Mention
    Cole
    Bradbury
    Hill

    #127346

    freshmanin83
    Participant

    Can Hines add enough muscle in the off season to help him make it through next year healthy or is his frame just not big enough.

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