Bobby Bowden first remarked that programs that are improving first lose by a little, then they win by a little.
We remarked after the near-win against Boston College that the Wolfpack was close — that they lost by a little against the Eagles, 38-31, in a game where the NC State defense could not make that final stand and allowed BC to sneak away with a hard-fought win against a never-say-die NC State team that was undermanned and often outplayed yet had the game tied until less than a minute was left to play. #25 Wake Forest was not so lucky in a rainy and windswept Carter-Finley Stadium this afternoon as the Wolfpack held on for a 21-17 win that served notice to their two remaining opponents that they can’t count on an easy win against a 4-6 team. State held on, and won by a little today.
This leaves NC State still alive in the mythical state championship of North Carolina, with victories over ECU, Duke and Wake Forest. The hated Tar Heels remain, and State needs the win to keep their slim bowl hopes alive.
The last part of what Bobby Bowden said? “…Then you win by a lot.” If that were to happen as soon as next Saturday, there will be a lot of extremely happy Wolfpack fans late next Saturday afternoon. The Heels are a solid team, however, and right now, if it were given, I think it safe to say that any of us would take a nailbiting Wolfpack win. Big wins might come later, but one thing is sure, and Carolina had better be wary of this: NC State may not have an accomplished 2008 resume, but this team never says die and UNC is in for a fight from start to finish next weekend.
We’ll have much more to say about this win and the upcoming game against the hated Tar Heels later, but right now, we’re going to celebrate and let you add your comments.