Why Tonight’s Game is HUGE

I doubt many of you need explanation, but I’ll throw it out there anyway. I’m not sure there has been a bigger game in Chuck Amato’s career at NC State. It certainly has the feel of a major turning point, one way or the other.

What a win would mean: A 2-0 start in the conference, with both wins against consensus “first division” teams. The possibility of real momentum, knowing that a home win against Wake would put us at 3-0 in ACC play, with very winnable road games at Maryland and Virginia up next. The schedule would set up well for a possible showdown game at Clemson for the division title (even though it would be a very hard game to win, at least we’d get our shot). Assuming we somehow beat Clemson, we would hold tiebreaker edges over everybody, meaning we’d control our destiny if we could just get to 6-2.

What a loss would mean: Our overall record would drop to 2-3, with 4 of our 6 remaining ACC games on the road. The Wake game would be do or die for conference/decent bowl positioning. A division title would probably require State to run the table. We would only have the Evans miracle keeping the season from being a complete disaster, as the losses to Akron and USM look even worse after those teams’ performance in recent weeks.

Let there be no doubt – we have a national stage to take advantage of a fantastic opportunity to establish some real program momentum. Amato simply must get it done tonight. He’s not likely to get such a chance again, with a weak ACC so ripe for the picking.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

'06 Football Chuck Amato General NCS Football

131 Responses to Why Tonight’s Game is HUGE

  1. choppack1 10/05/2006 at 9:46 AM #

    I don’t think the FSU game is a must win – more of a “if we’re going to have a special season”, must win.

    This match up scares me, FSU is tough on the run and improving it’s run O . If we can stop their running game and establish ours – we’ll win.

  2. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 10:06 AM #

    I only saw the end of the Miami game but FSU’s secondary is scarey fast and all over the field, as per usual. I’d love a win more than anybody, and believe it is possible, but I just want to see some competitive play and overall improvements on both sides of the ball. Mainly early offense.

    The WOLFPACK ought to be jacked up and playing some inspired football!!!

  3. Mike 10/05/2006 at 10:15 AM #

    The Pack usually plays well against FSU, even in the 3 losses Chuck has had against them. FSU is horrible this year running, and we have been burned against the run. We usually play well against the pass, Weinke’s 6 ints a few years ago, Rix, Weatherford last year. If we can stop their poor running game, and if the secondary can step up and not give up the big plays, I think we will be OK.

    We could not run on them last year, exception Brown’s long run. Maybe if we break one or two we have a chance. Their secondary is good, but what scares me more is their D-line. Awesome, fast, and strong. Put that against our O-line and I shudder to think what Evans will have to do to stay alive.

    Wake is no pushover. I think their 5-0 is misleading, but they are 5-0. Also they play us tough every year and we seem to have trouble with them. I would rather play FSU than Wake based on previous history. And yes, we lost to Akron and SMiss, and yes, based on their latest games, makes those losses even more damaging. We cant count wins against Md or UVA. We have to play them all one at a time. If we can lose to Akron and SMiss, we can lose to UVA and Md.

  4. beowolf 10/05/2006 at 10:24 AM #

    I think this game is crucial because we have seen two completely different teams in the Wolfpack uniforms. One was our “worst fears” team that couldn’t score, couldn’t stop the other team from scoring, had no discipline, lost its head in adversity, and generally played thuggishly and poorly. The other team found ways to score when it had to, made key defensive stops, kept its discipline, kept is head during adversity, and put itself in the position to win, and was circumspect and even humble in victory.

    For me, I hope that we’ll see the latter team again. I really liked it. It’s a team I can be proud of no matter the results.

  5. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 10:40 AM #

    Absolutely HUGE! …”must get it done.” I agree.

    A loss could lead to a dismal season and the end of “CTC.” A win, the momentum and a maximum effort for the rest of the year might get us to a real bowl game.

  6. Trout 10/05/2006 at 10:45 AM #

    I dont think a loss dooms the season, IF the team plays well. We could play well, and still lose this game. But if we play well, I think it speaks to playing well in more “winnable” games against Wake, UVA and Maryland.

    I expect the team to play well. I really do. And I agree with beowolf comments too.

  7. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 10:49 AM #

    Come on now Woof Wolf, this game is not the all deciding factor in Amato’s future. Especially not if that future is contingent upon a win tonight or a “real” bowl appearance. This game is about adding to, and building upon, for right now, and for later on. Even next year.

  8. cfpack03 10/05/2006 at 10:52 AM #

    Strong OL play is crucial. I think our defense will play solid against their average offense. We can probably keep them to a low score. Its their front D that I’m concerned about. We have to give #22 and #24 room to run and give Evans time to throw.

    Checking the artificial markets for this matchup…
    An FSU win is trading at 82% probability. NCSU beating the 10.5 spread is trading at 42% probability

  9. class of 74 10/05/2006 at 11:06 AM #

    Herbstreit was on Packman’s show yesterday and he hit the nail on the head.
    He said our squad seemed to be really jacked up and he asked Tank Tyler why we did not treat every game that way? Typical player nonresponse followed and Herbstreit went on to say our program has the athletes but mentally and discipline wise we are lacking. Then the comparisons to Michigan State followed. Just a sense of how we are viewed nationally.

  10. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 11:09 AM #


    I did not say definitely would… The verbs I used were “could” and “might.”

    I just feel the momentum, in which ever direction, coming out of this game COULD have a great impact on the rest of the season.


    “…more “winnableâ€? games against Wake, UVA and Maryland.”

    Chuck’s record is 3 – 3 against FSU and 8 – 8 against Wake, UVA and Maryland.

  11. StewMan07 10/05/2006 at 11:22 AM #

    We have had opportunities like this in the past and not taken advantage. Maryland 2002 for the conference Championship, Ohio State 2003 and 2004, Miami 2004. Its a chance for us to make a name for ourselves again on national television, and put ourselves in position to control our own destiny and have something bigger than just a bowl bid to play for. I hope we can finally come through when we need to. It’s time!

  12. Gene 10/05/2006 at 11:26 AM #

    If we win this game, with three more winnable games, we’ll have all but wiped out the “demons” of Southern Miss. and Akron. This is a big game. We need a win against top 20 opponents to off-set the Akron and Southern Miss. loss, with regards to our program, so we can attract the attention of better bowls (assuming we get enough wins to qualify).

    AJ Davis being healthy will be a key. Our secondary played a lot better last week, with him in there.

    If our defense can get pressure on Weatherford, like we did last year, I like our chances.

    BC beat Clemson and we beat BC and Clemson beat FSU, so we have the talent, in a circular logic kind of way, to win this game.

  13. travelwolf 10/05/2006 at 11:28 AM #

    maybe the missing key was a good QB. well, he’d better get alot better than he was against BC. 2 good throws and one lucky one doesn’t make a QB great. don’t forget, we are talking about a team that couldn’t beat 2 ‘should beat them’ teams. One game ago people were saying amato should go. one lucky pass later, people are hoping that we are in contention for the title. it’s like a manic depressive… take some lithium! (hey, i’m wondering which pack will show up today too…we’ll know alot more after today).

  14. BJD95 10/05/2006 at 11:30 AM #

    That’s why tonight is so important. Lose, and it’s just “we got a lucky pass against BC.” Win, and it’s, “Wow, maybe that lucky pass really lit a spark and we can take advantage of a weak ACC after all.”

    That’s why this presents such an amazing opportunity.

  15. class of 74 10/05/2006 at 11:37 AM #

    Tell me the entertainment value gets any better than tonights game. So many angles and the recent history with FSU. This is the closest thing we have to an SEC type atmosphere on our schedule.

  16. GAWolf 10/05/2006 at 11:43 AM #

    I’m actually getting excited about the game tonight and will be pulling for the Pack and Chuck to turn this thing around. ESPN is so dead wrong when they hyped the game tonight as Florida State versus the resurgent Wolf Pack. Don’t we have to win more than one hail mary pass game to be “resurgent?” I think we win tonight and that will clearly be the case.

    Unfortunately, I have to predict a let down loss to the Deacs at home if we win this game. History says so.

  17. choppack1 10/05/2006 at 11:43 AM #

    About our offense, one thing to keep in perspective, we only scored 17 points vs. BC – the exact same amount of points we scored vs. Akron and Southern Miss.

  18. westwolf 10/05/2006 at 11:49 AM #

    I have yet to see a Marc Trestman coached team really have its offense “clidking on all cylinders”. We had trouble moving the ball against AKRON, at team that has since given close to 90 points in two games…we couldn’t move the ball against SMU, a team that gave up nearly 40 points to Tulsa…and against BC, one of the slowest defenses in the confeence, we had 3 points at half time.

    Hopefully, having Evans at QB, a heathly Blackman, and a healthy O line will be enough to get the offense really moving. We’ll see.

  19. GAWolf 10/05/2006 at 11:54 AM #

    I’d like to share something with one of the contributors of this blog without posting it on the blog itself… anyway I can do that?

  20. cfpack03 10/05/2006 at 11:57 AM #

    Blackman is still questionable. Chuck is still saying its a game-time decision…

  21. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 12:14 PM #

    ^Woof Wolf

    I didn’t think that sounded guite right. My bad on interpreting your post.

    Like you said, Big Mo is definitely at stake tonight, but this can be a great game for the Wolfpack irregardless of the final outcome.

  22. GAWolf 10/05/2006 at 12:24 PM #

    At “questionable – gametime decision” I bet we see some of Blackmon tonight, even if just as a decoy.

  23. stategrad82 10/05/2006 at 12:27 PM #

    I think momentum is the key word. If State can come out excited and ready to play and get something going early, they have a chance. The offensive line will have to perform very well to win.

  24. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 12:41 PM #

    “BC beat Clemson and we beat BC and Clemson beat FSU, so we have the talent, in a circular logic kind of way, to win this game.”

    My wife’s friend went to school and knows a former Miss Universe, I’ve met her and seen her twice, I have sex with my wife, so I would bet that I have a chance for sex with the former Miss Universe. But only in a circular kind of way!


  25. brentwood 10/05/2006 at 12:47 PM #

    You will win? Plain and simple. Which ever team can run the ball better, will win. For us, we don’t want to put all the attention on Daniel. We want his two best friends, the B&B Boys to be great tonight. That will open it up and Daniel can hit Dunlap or Anthony Hill easy.

    I agree and bet we will see Blackman tonight, I hope so, we need all the help we can get.

    GO PACK!!!

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