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. 66pack 10/05/2006 at 12:48 PM #

    a win against bc(one of worst defense in 1a) and a win against fsu (one of the worst offenses) only would reveal how bad the acc is.huge is not the word.

  2. brown pelican 10/05/2006 at 12:53 PM #

    agree with the perspective that we need only to play better and show improvement—our inconsistencies to this point have been too frequent to epect more—qb play will again be vanilla—trestman will try to limit the chance for the big mistake—the ol will be the ol—fsu will blitz and bring pressure—can we sustain enough to make them play base?—defensively??—can we play with the same fire and intensity that we did in the bc game for four quarters???—if so—it’s on now bubba

  3. Texpack 10/05/2006 at 1:00 PM #

    Even if we win tonight, CTC will have to break his recent habit of losing to teams we should beat. The talk of a division title is hilarious. The reason this game is huge is because it is at home and we have already lost a game at home that looked like a lock before the season began. This team needs to win another game like this that it isn’t supposed to win to make up for the eggs laid against Sou Miss and Akron. I don’t hope for anything but the best, but realistically a 5-3 conference record would be over achieving for this team based on our start.

  4. Wolfpack4ever 10/05/2006 at 1:02 PM #

    I read somewhere that our O-line is giving up 1.5 sacks a game. Is this possible with our O-line as bad as it is? How will Evans survive such a pounding? Our O-line really sucks.

  5. brentwood 10/05/2006 at 1:23 PM #

    Our O-line has not seen a very good D-line yet, that’s what the 1.5 sack a game.

  6. partialqualifier 10/05/2006 at 1:29 PM #

    I like the comment….”Amato simply MUST get it done tonight…”

    It seems that once again a few of us have forgotten that just a couple of weeks ago we couldn’t beat anybody and now we have people calling for must wins against FSU! I hope we win tonight for obvious reasons…but if we do I am sure that Amato will once again none of the credit. But if we lose tonight…Look Out! The wolves will be howling again! So sad…yet so predicatable.

    I think the most important thing is that we continue to improve like last week. Without a win tonight we can still have a decent season so long as this offense continues to improve. Let’s hope Blackmon can go tonight…Daniel needs him!

  7. BladenWolf 10/05/2006 at 1:43 PM #

    I agree tonight’s game will be huge, but for different reasons.

    I do not think a win tonight in anyway can be read as a march to the division title with Clemson. Simply too much football to play for that to be a realistic analysis. Add to that the typical erratic play of our team form game to game and that only makes the analysis that much more “wishful thinking”.

    I don’t think a loss tonight would place CTC in the unemployment line next season or constitute a complete disaster for this one. A loss would only expose the vulnerabilities and weaknesses we all discussed in great detail in the preseason. Witness the number of times the OL has been mentioned above.

    I believe this game is huge because it will potentially reveal the character of our team. Those of you who have read my past posts already know what I think of our coaches abilities, so I wont go there on this thread.

    But if our players play with poise, discipline, awareness of the game, execute the game plan, eliminate the mental mistakes, and keep a positive outlook until the clock expires, then as beowolf wisely points out, I’ll be proud no matter the final score. And that will be HUGE.

  8. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 1:53 PM #

    Do you know what I’d really like to see? That would be for Amato to casually walk over and say something to Trestman right after a busted play, and then Trestman literally go off in his face, grab CA by the seat of the pants and position him back over in his normal coaching ‘place.’ After that, Trestman calls a TO in a fit of rage, gathers the offense around him, starts opening it up with one good play call after another, pointing to his clipboard after every play, while glaring back down the sideline at CA.

    I don’t know for sure if that is even a problem or not, but it would make for great theatre anyway. I do know one thing for sure, the lifting by seat of the pants part would be physically impossible for the OC to accomplish either way.

  9. for2n8son 10/05/2006 at 2:49 PM #

    BREAKING NEWS: Alert in Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, (NC)
    Date: Wed, 4th Oct 2006 11:12:54 am

    North Carolina Tarheel football practice was delayed nearly two hours
    today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery
    on the practice field.

    Head coach John Bunting immediately suspended practice and called the
    police and federal investigators. After a complete analysis, FBI
    forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to players
    was the GOAL LINE.

    Practice resumed after special agents decided the team was unlikely to
    encounter the substance again this season.

  10. for2n8son 10/05/2006 at 2:51 PM #

    Let’s have some fun tonight too! GO PACK!!!!!

  11. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 3:18 PM #

    Last Thursday night South Carolina played hard and looked good before losing to Aubrn 24 – 17. The home crowd gave them a standing ovation at the end of the game. After the game Spurrier’s reaction was “Dont clap when we come close.” Essentially what he said was we’re not here just to play hard and look pretty. We’re here to win. He went on to say don’t quit cheering before and during the games. You can still scroll down on the main page and read Satursday’s blog if you missed it.

    I don’t particullary like Spurrier or agree with everything he says, but I think he got this one right. I am not going to be happy or proud if we play hard, look pretty, and lose tonight.

    Florida State is not a 10 point favorite tonight because their individual talent is that much better than ours. They are favored because they have been a much better TEAM than we have been this year.

    This is not 1992. FSU is not that much better than we are. Over the last eight seasons we are 4 – 4 against them. We can be a much better team than we have shown in the first four games. Tonight we need to “play with poise, discipline, awareness of the game, execute the game plan, eliminate the mental mistakes, keep a positive outlook and win.

  12. Packaholic1 10/05/2006 at 3:27 PM #

    Why I like Chuck Amato:

    “After his freshman year, Ritcher was enjoying the offseason, trying to forget his team’s 3-7-1 record. Wrestling Coach Bob Guzzo had a problem, though: his heavyweight wrestler injured himself and would be unable to go in an upcoming match against UNC. Would Ritcher – a very good high school wrestler, according to Guzzo – be willing to fill in?

    “Thanks, but no thanks,” Ritcher said initially. “UNC had a guy by the name of Dee Hardison, who was all-conference in wrestling and was probably 275 back then, which was huge,” Ritcher remembers. “I said ‘Wrestle against Dee Hardison? No thanks, coach.’ This guy’s a senior and built like a bear.”

    Ritcher, who was not in the best of shape that winter after some time off from football, saw it as an easy decision.

    Someone else had other ideas.

    “This is State-UNC. You’re wrestling,” Chuck Amato told Ritcher.

    Sure enough, come match night in Chapel Hill, Ritcher took Amato’s advice, nah, ultimatum. Competing in the last bout, Ritcher sat and watched his teammates, then felt his throat sink as Hardison began to warm up. “I’m sitting there dreading it; this is going to be awful,” Ritcher, weighing about 60 pounds less than Hardison, tells himself.

    So Ritcher follows suit, and the UNC coaches notice. Hardison, a football player himself, had just returned from the Tar Heel’s bowl game and wasn’t in the best of shape. UNC looked at Ritcher as a big unknown and ended up pulling Hardison from the match; they didn’t want to taint his record if he wasn’t in appropriate shape.

    Facing a less-intimidating opponent, Ritcher jumped out to a big lead in the first two rounds, then held on in the third to claim victory. As the referee raised his hand, Ritcher could barely move. He somehow made it to the shower, pulled up a chair and just sat, exhausted. When Coach Guzzo came in to inform Ritcher the can was ready to head back to Raleigh, he replied, “You don’t understand, coach, I can’t move.”

    “Then I went home and slept – for 18 straight hours.”

    That was the last day of Jim Ritcher’s wrestling career — the only Wolfpack wrestler to retire undefeated, Guzzo pointed out with a bellowing laugh.”

  13. Six Pack 10/05/2006 at 3:53 PM #

    FSU’s secondary is banged up, but the Line must block the front seven if State is to have a chance. I am not as concerned about our d as I am our O-Line.

  14. Wolfpack4ever 10/05/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    The personal stories like the one about Ritcher make my day. I “showed” Ritcher the area when he was on his recruiting visit. A lasting memeory is Jim sitting in my living room chatting with my family — my son was beside himself when I got back home from returning Jim to the campus. “Dad, did you see the arms on him? I thought his sleeves were going to split.”

    I don’t know but I expect that would be or is a violation or NCAA rules — we didn’t have guidelines back then. And that’s all I’m telling. 😉

  15. Wolfpack4ever 10/05/2006 at 4:26 PM #

    Steve is about winning and losing and he should be. The fans showing their appreciation for the team effort were about supporting the young men who had given it their all and they should be.

    I sat in CF waiting with others of you for the REVIEW. Finally as I rose to leave, I noticed the students standing and acknowledging (clapping) the players — for what ever reason. It’s easy to be for the team when they win and they deserve our appreciation when then win. But just like children they need love and appreciation the most when they need it the least.

    I have precious little to offer this team, so I’m committed to giving them my love and appreciation when the deserve it the least. Not a popular stand but one I’m willing to take.

  16. Wolfpack4ever 10/05/2006 at 4:34 PM #

    should have been “they need love and appreciation the most when they deserve it the least.”

  17. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 5:10 PM #

    ^Spurrier can run off the field and directly into his office to start working on the next game if he wants. Those SC fans, and some of the players have been around longer than he has, so let them show their approval.

    I’ll guarantee an offensive lineman who has been out there busting his hump all evening appreciated it. Maybe Spurrier would rather being coach elsewhere, in front of a half empty stadium full of sunny day, come only if we’re winning, fans.

  18. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 5:13 PM #

    “they need love and appreciation the most when they deserve it the least.�

    I agree with that about the kids. If I could be there tonight, I would be one of the first to applaud a truly valiant effort that fell short.

    But I don’t think it applies to 60 year old millionaire coaches, and we need to win tonight.

  19. redfred2 10/05/2006 at 5:31 PM #

    Come to think of it, Spurrier really would fit right in in Chapel Hill.

  20. Wolfpack4ever 10/05/2006 at 5:31 PM #

    ^and I wouldn’t do it for the coach. I just don’t think all’s bad with what Chuck has done and put into another perspective it could be said that he is on track to a big time success. Just another theory and I’ve said a lot about this on FSU Day thread.

    It must be quite a job balancing highly skilled and very athletic young men full of piss and vinegar and the need for a disciplined approach to the game. On one hand the need for discipline and on the other risking breaking the spirit of a young man — and other young men who see harsh discipline as a negative. If you think back, FSU used to lead the conference if not the country in penalties while beating the snot out of everybody they played.

  21. BorntoHowl 10/05/2006 at 6:28 PM #

    This is a big dilemma game. To win the game we must open it up a good bit more. The coaching strategy for the last two years is to shut it down and play conservative. The political correctness of the coaching staff to not put too much on the QB as it might hurt his confidence is not what this game and rest of the season is all about. Give Trestman some Bennies before the game to get him up to speed (pun intended) on what kind of offense we need. Seventeen points a game doesn’t get it. Rip out the first two pages of the play book (the only ones used so far this year) and start a new chapter of wolfpack offense.

  22. VaWolf82 10/05/2006 at 7:41 PM #

    This is not a game that State would be expected to win (unlike Akron and USM). Thus, winning this game would be huge, but a loss is not the end of the world.

    Before the season started, I was hoping for seven wins….but not necessarily expecting them. Seven wins is still possible if the offense is actually improved under Evans. We shall gather another piece of evidence tonight.

  23. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 8:27 PM #

    I feel good about the first quarter. I have been saying open it up a little, but I didn’t expect a three ring circus. The upside is we didn’t panic. We’re only down three and with the right adjustments and a break or two, we can win this game.

    I liked the way the defense is playing. GO STATE!

  24. bTHEredterror 10/05/2006 at 9:28 PM #

    Could be worse but the defense held up pretty good considering how close they were starting. Interesting touchdown drive, might free up the running game. What Brown and Baker need to do is go north and south more, you’re not likely to bounce it on a fast d, so it’s better to hit em in the mouth. Evans has presence, he is getting beat up, but he is still doing his job. No matter the outcome of the second half, the level of play has definitely improved, and there are already some good things to build on.

    Come on Pack, make some plays and lets steal another one!

  25. Woof Wolf 10/05/2006 at 9:29 PM #

    It’s halftime. I’m still happy. We can do it.

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