Carter-Finley’s Best, Part I

Tim Peeler has neat piece up on (Link)

I’m looking for a little help. To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Carter-Finley Stadium, the athletics department is looking to identify the top seven games ever played at NC State’s home football stadium.

After we have identified the top 20 candidates, we’re going to conduct a fan poll that will whittle it down to seven. Each of the games selected will then be recognized at a home football game this fall during the season-long celebration of the stadium’s 40th birthday.

Peeler says that he is looking for the “top seven games ever played at Carter-Finley Stadium”, but he only lists NC State victories (and one tie) as potential candidates. Therefore we need to focus only on NC State wins (non-losses) as opposed to just the “best games played” which may yield some different results.

Peeler has listed 15 top candidates and is hoping that readers can make it more comprehensive. I am going to hold off on comprising my list of the actual Top 7 until later. For now, the goal is to throw out some other games to add to Peeler’s list of candidates that inlcude:

(1) NC State 42, Virginia 21, Oct. 29, 1966
(2) NC State 13, North Carolina 7, Sept. 16, 1967
(3) NC State 28, North Carolina 26, Oct. 6, 1973
(4) NC State 12, Penn State 7, Nov. 9, 1974
(5) NC State 8, Florida 7, Sept. 20, 1975
(6) NC State 27, Indiana 0, Oct. 4, 1975
(7) NC State 28, Duke 7, Nov. 17, 1979
(8) NC State 27, Clemson 3, Oct. 25, 1986
(9) NC State 23, South Carolina 22, Nov. 1, 1986
(10) NC State 43, Duke 43, Sept. 1988
(11) NC State 28, Georgia Tech 21, Oct. 5, 1991
(12) NC State 24, Florida State 7, Sept. 12, 1998
(13) NC State 38, Syracuse 17, Oct. 1, 1998
(14) NC State 30, Georgia Tech 23 (OT), Sept. 21, 2000
(15) NC State 17, Florida State 7: Nov. 23, 2002

^That is a GREAT LIST. Remember, the games don’t necessarily have to be phenomenal comebacks or closely fought affairs. Don’t forget to weigh “significance” of the game into the equation. For example, 1989’s 40-6 destruction of Carolina would be a candidate on my list because of the significance of such a trouncing against the Heels.

A few others that immediately popped into my mind for consideration:

NC State 24, Duke 23: 1994
The Blue Devils were nationally ranked and having a dream season under first year Head Coach, Fred Goldsmith. Duke led 23-7 in the fourth quarter when Terry Harvey and the rest of the Wolfpack launched a comeback that will not be forgotten.

NC State 15, Marshall 14: 1991
Dick Sheridan’s Wolfpack was 5-0 and climbing the national rankings. Former Wolfpack QB, Jim Donnan’s Thundering Herd were building a mid-major power and were nothing to overlook. The Wolfpack fell into the trap on a beautiful October afternoon that fell on the weekend of fall break. With most of the students gone, and the Wolfpack eyeing a nationally televised contest at Clemson the following week (purple jerseys), State fell behind 14-3 before scoring two touchdowns with less than two minutes to go to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. I was one of the few students remaining in the stands at the end of the game.

For the sake of time, I am going to leave my suggestions at those two for now. I’ll be back with more later, but would love to hear your thoughts now. Ultimately, I’d like to take everyone’s candidates and comments and contruct a “Top 25 Wins” of all-time entry. So, please don’t hesitate to chime in with games that may be a little further down the list than the Top 7. Thanks!

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45 Responses to Carter-Finley’s Best, Part I

  1. BJD95 05/22/2006 at 10:11 AM #

    The early 1986 tie against Pitt (14-14, I believe – after a late TD, 2 point conversion, and long Cofer FG) was really the catalyst that set that season in motion. IIRC, we got at least a half-page write-up in SI after that game (back when SI was still relevant).

    I also don’t see how the (1979?) loss to Pitt doesn’t make the list, as heartbreaking as it was.

    The 1988 home win against Clemson was also pretty exciting, and it was very relevant as it made us the first (and only) team to defeat a Danny Ford coached Clemson team 3 years in a row.

  2. Jeff 05/22/2006 at 10:28 AM #

    ^ I agree about the losses. So, I added to the entry that it seems that Peeler was only focused on non-losses.

    I thought about the 1988 home win vs Clemson (10-3) and figured that it was probably not “exciting enough” to make most people’s list. I figure that it will end up being in a “Top 25” list.

  3. CaptainCraptacular 05/22/2006 at 10:32 AM #

    2 of my fondest memories of the fall of freshman year were of the 10-10 tie with Pitt where everyone was stomping their feet as State tied it making the stands shake and quiver, and the 27-3 whipping of Clemson on a rainy and miserable, but very happy day. That 27-3 game signaled that Dick Sheridan was creating a State team that couldn’t be taken lightly, as Clemson had been the team to beat in the ACC for years beforehand.

    Unfortunately for reasons I can’t remember I didn’t get to see the South Carolina miracle pass.

  4. cfpack03 05/22/2006 at 10:38 AM #

    oh man, I remember that GT game in 2000. River was unbelievable. I also remember the students broke the unofficial record for ‘longest post-game celebration.’ The goalpost was marched up the hill, over the gate, and all the way to Waffle House on Hillsborough before the police finally ran everyone off.

  5. Jeff 05/22/2006 at 10:50 AM #

    We won that 2000 GT game because of Brian Williams’ fumble recovery in the end zone at the beginning of the 2nd half.

    On a pure “excitement” level, Rivers’ first game vs Arkansas State will have to make an extended list (Maybe Top 25?). Carolina game 2003 (Rivers & Coatchery Senior year) may make a Top 25 list.

  6. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 05/22/2006 at 10:51 AM #

    I guess the obvious choices for me are:

    The first win against FSU
    The win against Syracuse and McNap.

    If you include a loss I would have to say the Penn State game in the late 70’s.

  7. Jeff 05/22/2006 at 10:57 AM #

    ^ The Thursday night win vs Syracuse is a great call.

  8. EagleEyed 05/22/2006 at 11:06 AM #

    Best game I ever saw at Carter-Finley was NC State 23, South Carolina 22, Nov. 1, 1986. Offsides gave us the send life we needed for Kramer to pull it out. That was EXCITING and fun.

  9. MikeMc_92 05/22/2006 at 11:18 AM #

    Yes! The Thussday night win v. Syracuse!

    The ’91 Dead show should find a place somewhere too.

  10. Jeff 05/22/2006 at 11:28 AM #

    I’m thinking that we may ultimately rank these games on certain criteria. Maybe a 5 point scale for each of the following for each game:

    * Excitement of Win
    * Significance of win to the program
    * Significance of win for the season
    * Atmosphere at Game
    * Intangibles


    For example…the 1986 win vs USC might rate the following:

    Excitement Win = 5
    Significance / program = 4
    Significance / season = 4
    Atmosphere = 3
    Intangibles = 5

    TOTAL: 21 of 25 points

  11. DRW 05/22/2006 at 11:50 AM #

    I vote for the win against Clemson in 1986. Clemson was nationally ranked and the game was on national TV, I think. Sheridan’s first big win. One of the few times I’ve really enjoyed being soaking wet.

  12. wolfpackbball 05/22/2006 at 12:08 PM #

    Before I even write this entry, I know it goes against everything that I believe, but, I feel like it has to be written.

    One of the best games ever played in CFS did not involve the Pack. I know this may seem blasphemous, but bear with me. In 1999, East Carolina University, reeling from the devestation of Hurricane Floyd, had their game with Miami University moved from Dowdy-Ficklen to CFS.

    With ECU facing a 23-3 deficit in the 3rd quarter, the momentum changed and the rest is history. A top ten Miami squad that featured Santana Moss and Clinton Portis(his coming out party, by the way) was outdone by 24 straight points from the Garrard led squad. Garrard was 20-27 for 222 in the second half.

    Now, I know this may be off of the topic, but I know that was a great moment in CFS, without a doubt. Looking at the scale mentioned above, I would have to say:

    Excitement Win – 5 , no doubt, because of the significance of the disaster in Greenville

    Significance/Program – 4

    Significance/Season – 3

    Atmosphere – 5, displace ECU fans in a hated stadium against a hated school.

    Intanibles – 5

    22 OVERALL, now let the bashing begin, I know, I know.

    BTW my buddy wouldn’t let me leave the 91 Marshall game. FREAKIN AWESOME GAME.

    SFN: No game played on a field that didn’t even include the colors of the schools participating, in front of stands that were half full and anyone in town could get a ticket to can be “5” on atmosphere.

  13. wolfpackbball 05/22/2006 at 12:36 PM #

    I understand the atmosphere deal when no one is playing a true “home game”, but I was at the game and there is something to be said for the passion of the fans that did make the trip. They were very animated. Probably more of a stress reliever than anything. I thought that made the atmosphere for sure a four. Point taken, I’ll concede the five.

  14. brown pelican 05/22/2006 at 12:40 PM #

    1974 12-7 win over penn state—they were top five at the time—8-7 win over florida—johnny evans rushing for the two point conversion late in the game for the win—same season—or—1975—honorable mention—any win over the tar heels—

  15. CaptainCraptacular 05/22/2006 at 12:45 PM #

    BJD: You are right, the ’86 Pitt game was indeed 14-14, not 10-10 as I mistakenly remembered.

  16. CaptainCraptacular 05/22/2006 at 12:48 PM #

    For reference, this is a great source:

  17. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 05/22/2006 at 12:58 PM #

    Most upsetting game was the Kiffin on-side kick against Carolina. Not only upsetting because of the fact that State lost but also the fact that we let go of Monte for Tom Reid. Next to Holtz probably the smartest coach ever to prowl the Wolfpack sidlines. 3 years and we gave Herbert 10? If memory serves State’s Coach K 6-5, 5-6, 6-5.

    I’ll never forget the parachuting onto the baseball field and the Lone Ranger ride down donw Hillsborough St. As a 12 year old the arrival of V and K where something special.

    “Long considered the NFL’s best defensive coordinator and famed architect of the ‘Tampa Cover 2 D”

    -MK Tampa Bay Bio

  18. Six Pack 05/22/2006 at 1:01 PM #

    I’d have to say the 38-14 win over East Carolina in 1986. Why? Well, for one at tleast the previous two years we had lost to sub-par ECU teams under the great Tom Reed. Second, it gave all Pack fans hope that we had one heck of a coach in Sheridan. After a 6-1 record against the Tarholes the rest was just gravy under Sheridan!

  19. treznor 05/22/2006 at 1:04 PM #

    I would have to vote whole-heartedly with the first win over FSU (I forget the exact year now, ’98 maybe?). I was in the marching band and we were still working on getting off the side of the field and into the stands after the pregame show when FSU scored on it’s first play from scrimmage. 17 seconds into the game. At that point everyone was saying to themselves (and anyone in the area near them): “Damnit! We’re supposed to be decent this year! This is going to be yet another FSU blowout of NCSU”.

    And then NC State took the game over. Very few times have I ever seen one team so completely take a game over, especially against an opponent that was every bit as good as them if not better. When FSU would drive down the field, we would intercept. When we drove, FSU’s defense broke down.

    To my mind, it was the turning around of the program as we had a couple miserable years just prior to that.

  20. GAWolf 05/22/2006 at 1:33 PM #

    We beat a Jim Donnan coached Marshall team on a hail mary didn’t we? It was a game we were obviously supposed to win but were down big in the second half if I recall correctly… and I might not be. Was anyone else at that game? I was in middle school I reckon so I don’t remember everything about it. A little help?

  21. StateFans 05/22/2006 at 1:40 PM #

    ^ It really wasn’t a “Hail Mary” in the purest sense. It was about a 50 yard pass with about 14 seconds to go in the game (IIRC)

  22. burnbarn 05/22/2006 at 1:50 PM #

    i remember the Marshall game.. we ( 4 of us) were riding around listening to the radio and my friend said ‘ If we win this game, i will give all of you a blow job’.
    Well, we won. No one spoke of the reward.

  23. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 05/22/2006 at 1:56 PM #

    The FSU win was tarnished by the fact that O’Cain managed to coach the team to a loss against freakin Baylor the next week. Baylor??? Not the Grant Taft’s 1974 Cotton Bowl Champ team but one of the worst teams in the country. O’Cain shouldn’t of been allowed to return to NC State’s campus after that game.

    Jeff: I traveled to Waco for this nightmare. It would have been bad enough without that 110 degree temperature reading on the field. It was brutal. Our players feet were literally burning in their shoes. Players were asking to get put into the game because the movement made their feet feel better than just roasting on the sideline. Thank God for George’s Bar and Ninfa’s Margaritas.

  24. choppack1 05/22/2006 at 3:21 PM #

    “I understand the atmosphere deal when no one is playing a true “home gameâ€?, but I was at the game and there is something to be said for the passion of the fans that did make the trip. They were very animated. Probably more of a stress reliever than anything. ”

    Look – I’m sure when the doldrums of summer hit, you’ll see a blogpost here about how one of the great myths of the region is that ECU fans are the best in the state. I saw the game that day on TV – but I could care less – not my team. They were just using our stadium – and go figure, the savages tore down our goal posts again.

    That’s a pretty good list. I’d probably have to add the victory over the heels in 2003 to the list since we hadn’t beaten them in C-F since 1990 or 91.

    Another candidate would also have been the UVA-State game in 2003 where TA scored in the last minute of the game. Good list though.

  25. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 05/22/2006 at 3:23 PM #

    I was at George’s a few months ago on my way through Waco. George’s is the only saving grace for those Baylor kids in an otherwise unlivable town.

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