Never Forget (Updated)

With Chuck Amato’s ass sitting squarely on the hot seat for most fans, it is an interesting exercise to think back to the impact of one, unbelievable, unprecendented call just two years ago. Had NC State gotten the win it deserved in Chapel Hill two years ago, the program would have been to six consecutive bowls and never had a losing season under Amato.


Couldn’t help but link this article from John DeLong today:

Carolina won the 2004 game amid controversy. State thought it was on the cusp of winning when one referee signaled touchdown on T.A. McLendon’s run with six seconds left. Another official overruled, saying that McLendon’s knee touched down before the ball crossed the goal line. State got one last chance, but botched the final play. McLendon wound up fumbling, after being stuffed short, and Carolina held on.

State can tell itself that it was cheated out of a win because of a bad call, and maybe it was a bad call. State can continue to believe it was robbed until the day that somebody replaces Sloan in the Guinness Book of World Records. Regardless, as the drama and controversy unfolded, Bunting kept his wits while Amato didn’t. Bunting made the most of his reprieve. But instead of regrouping and scoring from the one-foot line, Amato argued and moaned and then sent in an ill-conceived play that didn’t work. Anyone think that teams are a reflection of their coaches? Anyone see the chaos on the State sidelines in that sequence?

If Bunting gets Amato’s goat one more time Saturday, however, it’ll be with both forever. And it will be Bunting’s lasting legacy. And even if State wins, Bunting will still get one last parting shot. He’ll step aside, and Amato will have to coach and recruit against his replacement. That can’t be a very comforting thought, either.

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Chuck Amato General NCS Football

37 Responses to Never Forget (Updated)

  1. brentwood 11/17/2006 at 9:25 AM #

    wasn’t O’Cain’s ACC record after 7 seasons the same as Chuck’s? He lost his last two games before he was fired…Carolina, then ECU….

  2. BJD95 11/17/2006 at 10:12 AM #

    I don’t know – the problems associated with Chuck would have reared their ugly head eventually. It just might have taken longer. The 2 bowls we went to were lower-tier bowls against AWFUL opponents (IMHO, Kansas and South Florida were the weakest bowl participants in both years). Going 3-for-3 in getting to bowls like that would have made Chuck less on the hot seat, but I still wouldn’t be happy with the direction of the program.

    I’m not at all sure that it would be a GOOD thing to have the same structural problems with our coach and program, but less impetus for change.

    That game still does piss me off, though. But Amato’s bonehead coaching (especially taking a 5-yard penalty after UNC missed on 3rd and 3 from our 20, resulting in an easy TD on the next play) steamed me more than the terrible officiating at the end. We SHOULD have been credited with the W, but it would have swept alot of major red flags under the rug.

  3. richdail 11/17/2006 at 10:16 AM #

    Well it should never have come down to that one play. I was at that game and we let an unheralded fullback run all over our vaunted defense. And we had a running back who tried to dive into the endzone (on the next play after the controversial one) when he should have just kept running. TA could run over and drag people but once he left his feet he lost all his strength.

    I was shocked that we lost that game after having the momentum like we did, but if Amato were a more effective coach we would have won a lot more games that we lost on the “last play”.

    I appreciate what Amato has done but it is time to inject some new leadership into the top position (meaning head coach/and or athletic director).

  4. gopack968 11/17/2006 at 10:38 AM #

    …and Akron did not score that last touchdown.

    There is no doubt NC State has been on the short end of a few very bad calls in the past few years. But in both of these games, against theoretically inferior opponents, we should never have been in the position to suffer from a bad call at the end of the game. The real issue is not how we suffer from bad calls, but how come we don’t convincingly defeat teams that we should convincingly defeat every time.

    To me this is the simple difference between almost-good programs and good programs. Good programs beat up the teams they are favored over and win a few games they are not supposed to win. Almost good teams (the Amato era minus the PR teams) just sweat through every game, winning almost haphazardly.

    Why can’t we just beat the crap out of someone we are clearly more talented than? Tomorrow is again just such a chance, and yet it will probably come down to the end.

    Nevertheless I’ll be pulling for them right to that end. I hope we win both the UNC and ECU games – and I’ll take last minute heroics or even bad calls by the ref to get it done. Because in the end, a win is a win.

  5. Cardiff Giant 11/17/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    Madison Hedgecock, the Unstoppable Force.

  6. Wolf-n-Atl 11/17/2006 at 11:03 AM #

    Do you think a gifted offensive team has an easier time beating an inferior team than a gifted defensive team? It seems that in the Rivers years, we were able to out score inferior teams although we probably gave up a ton of pts. The games weren’t as close b/c they couldn’t stop our offense. On the flip side, now we have a good defense, but our offense struggles. Unfortunately, it only takes a few mistakes on offense or defense for us to lose a game now and those mistakes are magnified.

    A team like Gtech makes tons of mistakes on offense, but they have a big play maker receiver and a good defense that make up for it. We need some of those erasers on our team so that our margin of error is not so tight. IF the Oline can start playing the way it did at Clemson and we open holes for our RB’s, then they can be those players. Hopefully that will start tomorrow.

  7. Mr O 11/17/2006 at 11:16 AM #

    Wake didn’t blow out UNC this year. GT didn’t blowout UNC this year. We have never blown teams out and there really isn’t any reason to expect us to do so. We just aren’t that good.

    There is a fine line in college football and unfortunately we have ended up on the wrong side more often than not.

    The play against UNC that hurt us was the interception return for the TD. Jay Davis scored more point for the other team than he did for NC State in his brief stint as a starter.

  8. redfred2 11/17/2006 at 11:26 AM #

    ^We’ve had big play makers in the lineup all season long just like GT. But they can’t be “erasers” when the next play called after ten yard penalty is always a run up the gut that has netted 2 to 3 yards all day long. It’s kinda hard to offset 10 yds with 3 yds.

    They haven’t done much of anything all year but UNC has some athletes. This will once again more of a coaching battle than an all out show of superior talent. Even if we are stronger at most positions, this staff hasn’t shown the ability to capitalize or dominate anyone.

  9. RAWFS 11/17/2006 at 11:59 AM #

    We could very easily lose this game.

    Bravado and bragging should be put aside until the final gun. It’s not like we’re Michigan or even GT.

  10. Pack Laddie 11/17/2006 at 12:13 PM #

    I said before the season that the line was so fine with this team, that we could beat anybody we played, but by the same token, we could lose to anybody we played. Nothing I have seen has changed my mind on that.

    The two wins, BC and FSU, could have easily gone the other way. Just as UVa, Maryland, Clemson… could have gone our way.

    I think tomorrow will be more of the same. A game that will probably go to the wire. UNC will be ready. I hope we are.

    Hell, I wouldn’t want to play App State again right about now.

  11. legacyman 11/17/2006 at 12:35 PM #

    As stated elsewhere, I felt 6-6 going into the season would be an acceptable record although not what anyone wanted. Hey, we just lost the best group of defensive players to ever play at State at the same time. We had no quality QB and the Oline was weak.

    Now in the 6-6 I assumed we would get a few breaks but we didn’t. Too many mistakes although hardly as many as last year so something has improved. With the move to Daniel, the QB play has improved but that coupled with a little better Oline is still not enough to overcome some basic weaknesses that have bitten us over and over. We aren’t consistent enough to be a good team, yet.

    Chuck’s recruiting so far this season appears to feature in-state players and five or so Olinemen which we dearly need. The in-state gets ought to shut up some of the big mouths who always gripe about not recruiting our own state. This year was touted as a very good crop of NC prospects and Chuck has taken advantage of that.

  12. redfred2 11/17/2006 at 12:35 PM #

    “I said before the season that the line was so fine with this team, that we could beat anybody we played, but by the same token, we could lose to anybody we played.”

    How eerily similar is that to the NC State basketball of the past?

    “Hell, I wouldn’t want to play App State again right about now.”


  13. joe 11/17/2006 at 12:37 PM #

    It would be very ironic if 2 losses to UNC and ECU are the straw that forces Amato out. What’s the old saying about ignore history and you will be forced to repeat it?

  14. redfred2 11/17/2006 at 12:58 PM #

    If can continue with what they were doing in Death Valley, it should be a positive outcome. But the previous lack of continuity from one game to the next, makes that word “If” loom much larger than it should though.

    I’m thinking blow out, and I want to say in our favor, but I honestly think it could pretty much go either way. If we come out playing conservatively and allow them to stay in the game early, I do not like our chances.

  15. GAWolf 11/17/2006 at 1:09 PM #

    Anybody else actually debating wearing red to the game tomorrow? I’ll be in the alumni section so the ridicule will likely not be as great as that near the students. Nonetheless, getting out of that stadium a few years ago after we lost a game we were supposed to win was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had at an opposing team’s stadium. It was terrible. People throwing drinks at us… cussing us… it was bad.

  16. BobLee 11/17/2006 at 1:23 PM #

    … had TA indeed scored (on either play) then Burly John would have been canned that year. The heat on him then matched this year UNTIL “that call” was reversed. We would never have rebounded to beat Miami, etc.

    So we make a change two years ago … likely no Butch … but somebody else.

    Im trying to get Jim Knight to show up tomorrow for a pre-game appearance!


    GaWolf … sounds like you need to read my column today on “the Purehearts”.

  17. RickJ 11/17/2006 at 1:28 PM #

    There is an old adage that is going to apply to tomorrow’s winner – “If you are starving and can’t kill anything, you have to find something already dead.â€?

  18. class of 74 11/17/2006 at 2:24 PM #

    Look at the stats not for just this year but the past seven years and you will see it could be OSU or Akron and the end result would be the same close but no cigar!

  19. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 11/17/2006 at 2:49 PM #

    People forget there was another chance after the the TD reversal but T.urnover A.nytime McClendon lived up to his reputation on the next play.

  20. GoldenChain 11/17/2006 at 3:02 PM #

    That’s right one call is what it came down to……….one call in how many games that is?
    Just this season we could have pegged loses in at least 5 games to one call can’t we? Pushed out of bounds or a catch out of bounds? Off sides or a false start. Reviewable or not?
    To me the trend is to have one call settle a game in several games a year that we shoudl clearly win.

  21. GoldenChain 11/17/2006 at 3:04 PM #

    Hopefully the red shoes signed by Chuck and the cardboard cutout of Chuck that were auctioned off of will make an appearance at Kenan tomorrow.

  22. Spin Wolf 11/17/2006 at 3:12 PM #

    Mark it down, the Holes beat us. Why? Bunting has outcoached Amato every year he’s been here. Rivers and J-Co were the only difference makers. And then in the intangible department, you can’t ignore the fact that the Holes simply have the upper-hand in the rivalry. They expect to beat us, and it’s a much bigger deal for us to beat them, than for them to beat us.

    So what happens is, when there truly is a more talented State team that *should* beat UNC-CH, we get psyched up about it – too much so – thinking “this year we got’em.” And then what happens? We come out flat and get upset.

    Think about it. When in the last 20 years ( at least) has the supposedly worse State team upset the supposedly “better” UNC-CH team? Maybe Sheridan’s first year, 86? And yet the Holes have upset us numerous times.

    The only thing to break out of this is a coaching staff that emphasizes execution and discipline. Too bad we don’t have one.

  23. Wolfpack4ever 11/17/2006 at 3:12 PM #

    legacyman Says: “With the move to Daniel, the QB play has improved”

    Really? Let’s see, we beat BC on the last play with a “Hail Mary.” We beat a weak FSU team and….? If Stone was playing with Evan’s wins and stats, the uproar on SFN would make the NEZ quiet by comparison.

    So what’s the deal? What buys Evans the velvet glove treatment? I hope those of you who screamed about not playing Evans earlier can now see what the coaches saw in the spring and fall preseason.

  24. Wolfpack4ever 11/17/2006 at 3:14 PM #

    And why hasn’t anyone posted Evans stats? Lord knows everybody has been hung out to dry.


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